Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction last month garnered over $260 million dollars. The Modern and Contemporary art sale focused on Asian artists, like Yoshitomo Nara. Eddie Martinez was among the few Western artists that Asian collectors snapped up.
Martinez’ bold, freestyle, dream-like, Picasso-gone-wild technique is very relatable and has made his works some of the most sought after in the past few years.
Martinez was born in the Groton Naval Base in Groton, Connecticut in 1977. He attended the Art Institute of Boston and left after a year when he discovered his own unique style.
The New York Times art critic, Martha Schwendener, wrote, “Mr. Martinez is like a graffiti-artist coming off the street to quarrel with his heroes, except he’s more about homage than erasure.” Martinez did a lot of graffiti art, but said he didn’t like the risk, and took is more comfortable working in his Brooklyn studio.
Yoshitomo Nara is a superstar in Japan. Sprout, one of the works he painted after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, sold for $2.5 million at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction.
Nara lives an hour away from the epicenter of the quake and volunteered with relief groups, which he attributes to giving his work new inspiration.
Nara was born in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan in 1959. He was a latch key kid, and spent much of his time listening to punk rock that he heard on an American radio station. He didn’t understand the lyrics, but the sound influenced the feeling of his works and he went on to create album covers for R.E.M, Shonen Knife and other bands.
After receiving his B.F.A. in 1985 and M.F.A. in 1987 from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music Nara studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany.
Nara currently has a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will run through July 5, 2021.
There’s still time to see the Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop! exhibit at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota. The horticultural staff duplicated the whimsy of Lichtenstein’s interpretation of Monet’s works.
The exhibit includes indoor gallery displays of Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop interpretations of Monet. The exhibit is fun, fanciful and will remain on display through June 27th.
Lichtenstein’s works are also included in the POP Power from Warhol to Koons show at the David Owsley Museum of Art in Muncie, Indiana. The show, which runs through May 26, spans fifty years of Pop history and includes the works of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst alongside Lichtenstein’s.
The works of each of these artists is available at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints, paintings and sculpture for sale at VFA.
Barbara A. MacAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021.
Mutual Art. Asia’s Overpowering Market Making. April 20, 2021.
Martha Schwendener. What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week. The New York Times. January 8, 2019.
Art 21. Graffiti taught Eddie Martinez the values of painting fast. Interview by Nick Ravich. Edited by Melissa Saenz Gordon. 2012.
Crystal Wong. Japanese Sensational Artist Yoshitomo Nara Once Again Stood Out from His Fellow Asian Artists at Hong Kong Auction. The Value. April 23, 2021.
Nick Marino. Yoshitomo Nara Paints What He Hears. The New York Times Style Magazine. July 24, 2020.
Madeleine Luckel. Monet’s Giverny Blooms Anew in Florida, By Way of Roy Lichtenstein. Architectural Digest. February 19, 2021.
Jay Handelman. Selby Goes Pop! with Roy Lichtenstein exhibit. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 13, 2021.
Jessica Poitevien. Monet’s Most Famous Paintings Are Getting a Pop Art Twist at This Immersive Exhibit in Florida. Travel + Leisure Magazine. February 25, 2021.