The gallery has always taken an active stance in identifying artistic talent regardless of the status, background or commercial viability of the artist, aiming to cultivate a truly global audience for them in the process. Currently featured on Artsy’s new online show, ‘Newly Represented’ is Mauro Martinez, a Texas-born painter who had his debut show at Unit London in September 2020. ‘Newly Represented’ is Artsy’s online viewing room championing today’s most promising emerging talents. The exhibition documents the pivotal career milestones for breakthrough artists that they have been keenly watching.
Mauro C. Martinez’s bold, irreverent approach to painting makes his work particularly memorable, and often funny – not unlike a good meme. Take, for example, the new work Block Chain (2021): We see a college-aged white man wearing a popped collar surrounded by the words, “Ok, who the fuck is chain and why are y’all tryna block him??” plus two “thinking face” emoji. Like much of his work, it’s a playful jab at our relationship to the internet and technology, in this case imagining the collision of the NFT hype and American “bro” culture. Much of his work might be described as memes realised through classical painting techniques. – Casey Lesser, ’11 Newly Represented Artists from Tastemaking Galleries around the World’, Artsy.
Unit London recently began representing Martinez, drawn to the “directness and sharp, dark satirical humour” of his work, said Joe Kennedy, our co-founder and director. “As a young man, Mauro’s life experience has been far from easy and filled with tragedy—but his positive outlook and his ability to articulate complex cultural narratives within his work is astonishing.” – Karen Chernick, ‘What Gallery Representation Means for and Artist’s Career’, Artsy
For his “Sensitive Content” series, Martinez paints works that mimic the censorship of Instagram’s “sensitive content” warning; his “Cursed Images” amp up the drama of viral imagery; and “People with Paintings” shows scenes from museums and galleries where the art is replaced by memes to poke fun at the way people interact with art. Unit London describes his work as “crude, critical, quickly made and inherently humorous, Martinez uses the qualities of viral imagery, meme culture and cursed images to tap into a collective feeling of familiarity to disarm and challenge his audience.”
Mauro Martinez’s works are available to view on Artsy’s ‘Newly Represented’ from April 26 – May 3, 2021
Sensitive Content No 17
Pain Hub (study)
8 x 10 in
Practice makes Purfect
72 1/2 x 59 7/8 in