Against the Tide
James Martin’s artwork is as loquacious as the artist himself. Working primarily with gouache on brown paper, and sometimes additions such as ink, graphite, charcoal, or collage, Martin’s figurative scenes are at first glance humorous, with a myriad of characters from parrots, fish, and monkeys to Shakespeare, Picasso, mermaids, and pilots. A closer read reveals how ingenious the artist is, often utilizing the most subtle visual word play, and veering headlong into topics that without his deft hand may feel weighty. Martin’s free-flowing style of painting sees him depict a never-ending stream of characters, never shying away from ideas or issues that may be at the corners of our collective psyche.