In recent news, Miami- and Hong Kong-based artist Javier Martin has surfaced with his series “Blindness Light,” promoted alongside his performances at Art Basel Hong Kong and Context Miami. For the primary flat works, the artist warps neon lights and imposes the fixtures over a series of editorial fashion photography, appearing to blindfold, restrain, or obscure female models. (In a related performance video, you can watch Martin crushing a sequence of these lights on the floor with his forearm.)
For those who worry that this kind of artwork perpetuates the vanity it is meant to criticize, with eye-catching objectification, media-ready performances, and pretty lights, see Javier Martin’s lesser known works, a series of social realist sculptures (see below) that remind you of the sharp, bitter wit of contemporary artists like Maurizio Cattelan or Doris Salcedo.
Mary E. Hurt is a curatorial assistant, art handler, and writer living in Brooklyn. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in Art History in 2013. After a depressing experience working for an infamous vanity gallery in Chelsea, Mary began establishing a freelance network to depend on, assisting established and avant-garde artists in curation, installation, website development, and–most importantly–writing. She is excited to join the staff with Quiet Lunch Magazine and Smoothie Tunes, that dope music interview blog. In upcoming projects, Mary hopes to explore how counter-culture art and music stay alive in an increasingly corporatized playing field.