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Shantell Martin Is Creating “WAVES” in L.A.

By Eliza Jordan

February 14, 2020

On view through February 22 at Band of Vices Art Gallery in Los Angeles is a solo exhibition entitled “WAVES” by artist Shantell Martin. Special for those that have grown to love her signature single-line art over the years are a few unique inclusions—a site-specific work and some unique sculptural pieces.

Whitewall caught up with Martin to hear more about her show, and how her hope continues to find and propel positivity and progression.

WHITEWALL: Can you tell us a bit about the meaning behind your solo exhibition “WAVES” and what’s included in the show that represents that?

SHANTELL MARTIN: “WAVES” is inspired by the ever-changing relationship with one’s own identity. So many things affect our ability to connect with who we are, and often times we actually have a tendency to trust things to unfold within ourselves and our lives.

The show features a mixture of drawings that reflect this idea of movement which also incorporates positive words and phrases that in a way are meant to encourage you to go in the right direction.

It also features site-specific work (which I love to create in my shows because it’s inspired by and created only for the show), and for “WAVES,” that’s in the form of a wall mural. There are also objects/sculptural pieces that are created from everyday found objects and toys which brings it back to the place of accessibility and sustainability.

WW: The show touches upon our ever-changing identity. Can you tell us a bit about how this is a self-reflection of yours?

SM: Fundamentally, a huge theme of the work is about asking questions; it’s about being positive, being curious, and moving forward. My hope is to find the answers to these deep, meaningful, existential questions by putting them out there in the world and collecting fragments of answers that feel deeply true.

WW: Tell us a bit about your upcoming book, released next month.

SM: Lines is my first art book and I’m really proud to be collaborating with a publisher like HENI, who has created amazing books by other artists such as Gerhard Richter, Francis Bacon, Gilbert & George, and Sabine Moritz. Lines is a beautiful collection of past and present projects. It also features an interview Hans Ulrich Obrist and an essay by Katherine Stout—both of whom I’m so honored to have had the privilege of working with on this. There’s also a special edition of 200 copies that all have original hand-drawn covers, so that’s really unique and I’m so excited to share with the world.

Los AngelesShantell Martin


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