Soft Power: Works by Amanda Martinez at Platform Gallery
Photos by Olivia Obineme for BmoreArt
Soft Power is a solo exhibition of the work of Amanda Martinez, a New York based sculptor.
Running: July 3rd- July 27th, 2015
Gallery hours: Sat-Sun 11-5pm
From the gallery’s website:
SOFT POWER stems from the idea of a structured environment, intended for productivity, drama, and tomfoolery, which manipulates the participants to act within its confines. The space created exists as a natural and passive participant while its aesthetics propose a mood as well as an agenda. Martinez’s work stems from a formal interest in props and design, specifically the grey area where her objects blur the traditional conversation of sculpture. Early experiences with music and performance drew her to set design and the idea of stand-ins, or objects that are meant to give the impression of being something else.
Looking to reductive minimalism, Martinez allows for her materials to have some autonomy while keeping the core intention of the work as a frame of reference. Every structured interaction created contains multiple hand-carved objects, which Martinez has carefully labored over. Honing Styrofoam has also allowed Martinez to create her own language. The geometrical design of each piece relates to academia, and almost weights down the lightweight material, which in past has not been taken as seriously. To quote Martinez:
“At what point is an object active or merely a prop? Our culture puts more pressure on sculpture to be “doing something” than ever before. I actively strive for my work to be inactive in the atypical sense: not to be viewed as neutral, but aggressively speaking in a quiet, persistent voice.”
AMANDA MARTINEZ lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens, NY. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Martinez received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 where she studied both sculpture and painting. In 2011 she was awarded a year-long studio residency in Kansas City, Missouri through the Charlotte Street Foundation and has recently completed a residency in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Her 2014 solo show ‘Principle of the Thing’ with Daylight Savings Gallery was an ArtCards editor’s choice and featured on LA-based ‘Carets and Sticks’ blog. She was recently interviewed by Mist Gallery, based out of Richmond, VA, coinciding with her work in their online group exhibition, ‘Over Spun’. Her work has also been featured on the Idea Foundation and in The Kansas City Star. She has shown in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Kansas City and Los Angeles over the past five years.
PLATFORM was founded in 2014 by Lydia Pettit and Abigail Parrish on the first floor of Platform Arts Center. Functioning as a commercial gallery, Platform promises to create driving, thought-provoking shows that question the relationship between artist, curator, and community as well as providing opportunities for Baltimore and regional artists to show their work. Run by women, Platform is an open, safe space for artists to meet and collaborate with community members of any class, race, gender, or age in hopes of influencing future shows and programming. Exhibitions span from new age artists that are influential to contemporary art to curated historical investigations of art in Baltimore. Platform promises to excite audiences beyond the art community, challenge convention, create new paths, and open its doors to change.