Will Martyr’s meticulous compositions act as a kind of visual therapy for a digital age. Martyr’s work is transportive, it takes us to a semi-digitised world where the sharp lines of modernist architecture court the jagged shadows of snowy mountains. Inherently static scenes are made dynamic by structural elements, leading the eye to all corners of Martyr's ethereal plane.
Martyr's work is exceptional in its precision and attention to detail. He utilises a mixture of his own photography and found imagery to construct elegantly complex compositions. These images are edited digitally and then drawn onto the canvas. Each feature is masked off using tape and individual colours are mixed and then painted in multiple layers onto the surface. This painstaking process results in truly immaculate work.
Martyr's scenes, devoid of human presence, facilitate an exploration of our relationship with the domestic environment. Despite having been composed from found imagery, the paintings depict an ethereal, other-worldly utopia. The ideals of seductively sleek yet uninhabited domestic spaces conjure scenes of privilege, closely comparable to David Hockney’s paintings of Californian swimming pools of the 1960s.
Martyr is heavily inspired by the design and architectural movements of Bauhaus, blurring the line between art and architecture in his paintings. He is also influenced by Futurism and Vorticism, attempting to express the dynamism of the modern world with hard edged imagery that requires an economy of gesture.
Martyr’s debut solo show Wanderlust at Unit London in 2017 presented twenty large-scale paintings which considered how the mass-consumption of imagery affects our perception of reality. Martyr's second show at Unit London in 2018 showcased eight large-scale tondos, these were used to represent holistic notions of eternity. During Wanderlust Martyr was inspired by the compositions of early perspective pioneers of the fifteenth century, Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. His artwork is placed in many high profile international private and corporate collections worldwide and much of his work is now undertaken via private commission.
In the studio with Will Martyr, 2021
Will Martyr | You Gave me Paradise | 2021
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Will Martyr is a British artist born in 1980. He recieved his training at The Slade School of Fine Art London (UCL 1998 – 2002), The New York Studio School, NYC (2002-2003) and The Royal College of Art London (2005 – 2007). Martyr had a debut solo show titled Wanderlust at Unit London in 2017 where he presented twenty large-scale paintings which considered how the mass-consumption of imagery affects our perception of reality. Martyr has since had two more solo shows at Unit London, in 2018 and in 2021. His artwork is placed in many high profile international private and corporate collections worldwid. Martyr currently lives and works in London.