I've been inspired by the themes of sorrow, celebration, masculinity, tribute and cultural identity, as well as by a deep curiosity with the corporeal.
My work often deals with issues facing the queer community. The theme of AIDS has been embedded in my multidisciplinary projects from the outset of my career. I have created works that pay homage to those who passed since the outset of the epidemic; I see those pieces as a sort of ephemeral memorial. Lately, I find myself positioned in the middle, both as a mid career artist and as an openly gay man centered between the older and younger generations.
I have created works that respond to the profound loss experienced by Larry Kramer’s generation. For example, the wall installation "Anthology" involved the transformation/destruction of twelve albums chronicling Donna Summer's discography specifically from the seventies, 1975-1979- a highly formative time in my young life growing up in Little Havana. These were albums I purchased as a boy, age 8-12, as I was vicariously experiencing the Miami disco era through my older sister. I adored Donna Summer, obsessively, and played her albums constantly. "Anthology" is a very emotional piece for me. It recalls the memory of the 'hey day', to liberation and freedom, but also foreshadows the impending horror- grotesque, atrocious and abject.
artist website: www.gabrielmartinez.com
gallery links: www.samsonprojects.com