"I guess I'm tapping into the land, right?," Patrick Martinez told me in our Spring 2022 Quarterly. "That's my whole idea with these pieces that I'm making with the stucco, the neon, the tile and all that, taking materials from the land to create the landscape. Sampling those sections. That specific orientation, or the way I'm composing it, is specific to LA." We were talking about LA as a city of space and possibility, of limits and unlimited inspiration. A melting pot of dreams and disappointments. And block by block, LA reveals itself, as a city in progress and in short time, a city with history stacked upon history and immigrantion transforming what it is at all time. It's a beautiful if not complicated place, and Patrick is piecing it all together, making a map for all of us to see one of the most unique places on earth.
His newset solo show is just this: Promised Land, on view now at Charlie James Gallery, is both a solid and collaged typography of Los Angeles only done by someone who was born and bred here. As I wrote once about his work, "Martinez has taken the landscape of LA, a place he characterizes as still “in-progress,” making work that combines mediums, styles, eras, cultures, neighborhoods and the unique characteristics of his panoramic view." Perhaps being a new father has made him look at his city with fresh eyes, what it is and what it can become. It's a show about the fading of time and picking up the pieces. It's both a visceral and engrained experience. —Evan Pricco