Eddie Martinez, Yoshitomo Nara and Yue Minjun

Eddie Martinez 1977-

The work of Eddie Martinez has been evolving over the last few years and has become highly coveted in art markets around the world.

He has spent much time, since the start of the pandemic, working in his Brooklyn studio, on paintings and prints that, he said, reflected his emotions during a difficult time. “Obviously there is a lot of anger and anxiety in this country right now,” Martinez said, “so I do feel some relief making these works and sharing them on Instagram, etcetera.”

During this year’s Art Basel in Basel, one of Martinez’s work sold for $90,000, another for $200,000.

The popularity of Martinez’s work in the Asian market has been fueled by Chinese rock star, Jay Chou. Chou, whose mother was a music teacher who also taught fine art, instilled a love of music and art in her son. She hoped he would one day teach music. He, instead, became a singer and songwriter, selling over 30 million records and garnering a large following on social media. Something about Eddie Martinez’s work spoke to Chou and he not only posted the work on his social media sites, but also traveled to the United States to meet the artist and attend an exhibit.

Martinez not only paints and creates original lithographs, he works in a variety of medium like oil pastel, ink, white out and crayon. A variety of these works are available at VFA.

His work is part of the permanent collection of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, the Marciano Collection in Los Angeles, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Saatchi Collection and many other fine museums and galleries around the world.

Eddie Martinez lives and works in Brooklyn, with his wife, artist Sam Moyer.

Yoshitomo Nara 1959-

Yoshitomo Nara’s retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) reflects thirty years of the artist’s work. Nara is one of Japan’s most esteemed artists, whose paintings and sculptures have garnered some of the highest prices on the art market.

During the recent Art Basel in Basel, two of Nara’s works sold for $1.75 million each, although many of his works have sold for much more. In 2019, Sotheby’s sold his Knife Behind Back, 2000 for a record-setting $25 million in Hong Kong.

The mischievous, wide-eyed children, that make up many of his works, appeal to universal emotions and sensibility. His retrospective will be on exhibit at LACMA through January 2022 and then  travel to Shanghai, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Yue Minjun 1962 –

Chinese artist Yue Minjun’s works are part of a current exhibit at LACMA called Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation.

The repetitive smiling faces in Minjun’s works reflect an undercurrent of anxiety in China. In an interview, Yue said that the demand for conformity under Mao meant that “everyone had to do the right thing…which is why the act of smiling, laughing to mask feelings of helplessness has such significance to my generation.”

This exhibition is part of LACMA’s ongoing partnership with the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. It is a joint effort to create collaborative exhibitions and to provide both museums with greater access to a more diverse collection of artworks.

Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation will be on display through March 13, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Eddie Martinez, Yoshitomo Nara and Yue Minjun available at VFA.

Benjamin Sutton. Artsy Insider: Two Artists Seeing Major Sales at Art Basel in Basel. Artsy: Art Market. September 26, 2021.
Gay Gassmann. What 11 Artists Have Created During Quarantine. Architectural Digest. May 19, 2020.
Angelica Villa. The Most Expensive Yoshitomo Nara Works Ever to Sell at Auction. Artnews. August 12, 2021.
Alex Colville. What’s so funny, Yue Minjun? SupChina. February 9, 2021.


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