Mario Martinez (Mars-1)

Gallery II
Solo Exhibition

May 26, 2011 through June 25, 2011

NEW YORK, NY (May 3, 2011) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Afterglow, new works by San Francisco-based artist Mario Martinez (Mars-1), in what will be his third solo exhibition at the gallery. Afterglow features several large-scale, acrylic works on linen—painted in Martinez’s distinctly individual and signature mind-expanding style of vast, abstracted, quasi-extraterrestrial landscapes.

In contrast with Martinez’s last exhibition, this new series of atmospheric paintings are much grander in scale and presence, with dark rather than light background colors. Through broader brushstrokes and kinetic energy, there is more chance and less control to the execution, creating a sense of conflict and struggle within the work. To experience the imagery as a viewer is like ocular meditation, releasing the mind from cognitive thought and allowing oneself to be visually drawn deep into a cosmic vortex and mentally explore the unknown.

Painting from a perspective of penetrating depth, Martinez’s process is subconscious-driven and constantly evolving. His compositions are densely layered in vibrant geometric and organic shapes, forming a unique matrix of patterns and textures. Skillfully combining optical color blending techniques with perspective line work, his dimensional imagery echoes the anatomy of architecture and microcosmic structures of biology.

Throughout the artist’s body of work, themes range from scientific to esoteric phenomena, including theoretical physics, metamorphoses, collective consciousness, ufology, possibilities of otherworldly principles and the relative link between physical and life sciences. Transitional energies, natural multiplicity, helixes and spontaneous biological occurrences all converge, forming imagery with hypotheses beyond the scope of modern technology.


Mario Martinez (Mars-1) was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1977. At the age of 13, he began writing graffiti in his hometown of Fresno. He later attended Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he currently lives and works; remaining heavily active in the city’s contemporary art scene. His unique imagery explores possibilities of otherworldly existence through highly developed, multi-layered landscapes. Often employing a fuzzy-logic aesthetic, Martinez’s artwork has a sentient appearance, like a tulpa—which in mysticism, is the concept of a materialized thought that manifests into physical form. His unique style has been described as urban-Gothic, sci-fi abstracted, quasi-organic form. Early inspirations include: graffiti, animation, comic book characters, UFOlogy, extraterrestrials, unexplored life, mysteries of the universe, alternate realities and the abstract quality of existence. The true meaning of Martinez’s imagery is ultimately left open to interpretation. The artist feels this brings his creations full-circle, encouraging his audience to decipher the messages he wishes to convey as well as to form ideas of their own.

Mario Martinez (Mars-1) 


Opening Photos

Jonathan LeVine Gallery | 529 West 20th Street and 557C West 23rd Street | New York, NY 10011 | Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm | 212-243-3822