NEW YORK, NY – Jonathan LeVine Gallery is proud to announce Aerodynamics for Psychonauts, MARS-1’s first solo exhibition at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. The exhibition will be on view from March 31st through April 28, 2007. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 31st from 7pm – 9pm.
MARS-1 invites the viewer to use their own imagination to develop storylines from his paintings in Aerodynamics for Psychonauts. Creating nearly a dozen new, large-scale works in acrylic and gouache, MARS-1 focuses on bringing intangible realms into existence. He explores what he describes as “the sixth sense, or extra-sensory perception and levels of reality,” filtered out by the mind in modern society. He grasps these abstract qualities of existence through his ethereal landscapes. “With so much that we don’t understand, it’s easy to put blinders on and have a narrow view of what we perceive instead of keeping the mind open.”
Expressing these thoughts onto his wood panel surface, MARS-1 creates a mysterious, multi-dimensional realm with both familiar and unfamiliar spaces to explore. To heighten this awareness for the viewer,MARS-1 creates a wall mural and sculptural installation. His sculpture, made of resin has a shell of approximately an inch and a half, painted with an organic pattern of dark to light gradients.
MARS-1 (aka Mario Martinez) is heavily active in San Francisco’s contemporary art scene where he lives with his wife, fellow artist Mikas. He began his career at the early age of 13, doing graffiti in his hometown. MARS-1 moved on to airbrushing and began to paint on canvas at the age of 20. Since then, his work has expanded to include sculpture, books, skateboard decks and designer toys. Past exhibitions at Jonathan LeVine Gallery include two group shows in 2005: Fork in the Road and Pop Pluralism. MARS-1’s has been published in SHIFT Japan, Artbusiness.com, StrangeCO, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, IdN magazine, WAD, and Mass Appeal.
About the artist
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.