Moyosore Martins bridges abstract, figurative, and iconographic symbolism. He expresses the beauty in the figure and the depth of its subject; he obsesses with a cartoon-like character that imbues his iconography and that has a deep symbolic meaning. His approach is narrative and realistic in the early works, returning to his childhood memories. The African statue is always present and spiritually meaningful in his work. He is fascinated with contemporary plastic toy statues and collectibles from artists like Kaws, representing everything different in juxtaposition to the traditional Yoruba figures.
Martins expresses the emotion of the characters he deftly paints, the backgrounds layered, manipulated, scratched, and then infused with text. He places himself in the canvas, in the artwork, in spirit and name, even his birthdate. He scribbles words, mathematical formulas, mantras, and prayers. He visually expresses his internal conversation, which shifts as his world does—as a visual biography. He resists being put in a box. His unique use of materials and story is the cord that ties his work together.
Martins’ paintings express an internal conversation and what he is experiencing at a given moment. His artwork and craft grow as his career expands, and he receives increasing attention for his work. He looks back, reflecting on his path and where he has come from, both as a person and artistically. Entrenched with personal symbolism, every element of a painting has a purpose and a specific meaning to him, much like a morse code. The multiple eyes symbolize his own spiritual “all-seeing”; the clusters of floating eyeballs represent a feeling that all eyes are on him, being “seen,” his work being seen. The mouth, large and slightly aggressive, describes the intensity of the experience of people talking about him. The etched words are like a mantra to manifest his vision.
Artist Visit : Moyosore Martins
Résumé : Moyosore Martins
** Editors Note. Moyosore Martins. Mitochondria Gallery. 2023