Daniel Joseph Martinez

United States 1957

Daniel Joseph Martinez
Daniel Joseph Martinez
United States
April 18, 2014
Jean is researcher and author for Widewalls. jean.gallard@widewalls.ch

Born 1957 in Los Angeles, California; lives in Los Angeles, California

Fifteen years after his indelible first appearance in the Whitney Biennial in 1993, Daniel Joseph Martinez continues to create work that unapologetically probes uncomfortable issues of personal and collective identity, seeking out threadbare spots in the fabric of conventional wisdom. A strategic provocateur with a keen intelligence and a wicked sense of humor, Martinez deploys the full range of available media in his practice, having used at various times (and in various combinations) text, image, sculpture, video, and performance to construct his uniquely tough-minded brand of aesthetic inquiry.

Joseph’s works over the last few years vividly demonstrate both his methods and fascinations. The House America Built(2004), for example, staged an improbable, mordant collision between Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and design maven Martha Stewart (with an added touch of Gordon Matta-Clark’s anarchitecture), in the form of a wooden cabin that filled the space at his New York gallery, The Project. Painted in deliberately tasteful Stewartesque pastels, the looming structure—riven from bottom to top by a widening slice evoking Matta-Clark’s famous house cut, Splitting, of 1974—was in fact a reimagining of the Montana dwelling where Kaczynski penned his infamous manifesto.

If House looks outward to test whether a spiffy new coat of commerce might camouflage the fractured social architecture of the American democratic landscape, Martinez’s ongoing project featuring his own body as a site of contention and disturbance brings questions about appearance and reality into strikingly personal focus. Commencing with a series of self-portrait photographs from 2000, the artist began opening himself up to viewers literally, using sophisticated makeup techniques to produce startling images such as the trio that constitute More Human Than Human, Self-Portrait #9, Fifth Attempt to Clone Mental Disorder or How One Philosophizes with a Hammer in which Martinez appears to reach inside his stomach and draw out his bloody entrails.

A recent series of animatronic selfportraits— including Call Me Ishmael, The Fully Enlightened Earth Radiates Disaster Triumphant, an installation for the Official United States Pavilion of the 2006 Cairo Biennial in which a robot version of the artist convulsed in a paroxysmal seizure whenever viewers came near—constitutes an elaboration of Martinez’s abiding interest in interrogating both artistic transparency and audience complicity.

Complicity is also a watchword for Joseph’s newest work, Divine Violence, 2007— first shown late last year at The Project in New York. The work takes its name from Walter Benjamin’s coinage for a form of violence that functions as pure means, with knowable ends. The installation of 125 panels, painted in automotive goldflake and each bearing the name of an organization around the world attempting to affect politics through violent means, is part of a larger ongoing project whose open-ended mix of theory, politics, and research is representative of Martinez’s entire practice.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014Daniel Joseph MartinezRoberts & Tilton, Culver City, CASolo
2013Nyc 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No StarNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
2012Beauty Pageant, Body Builders, Andy WarholLAX Art Solo
2012Refocus: Multicultural FocusArena 1, Santa Monica, CA, part of Pacific Standard TimeGroup
2012In The MakingRoberts & Tilton, Culver City, CAGroup
2012Photos and Drawings from AKAnchorage Museum, Anchorage, AlaskaGroup
2012A solo Exhibition by Joseph MartinezSimon Preston Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012A solo Exhibition by Joseph MartinezRoberts & Tilton, Culver City, CASolo
2012A solo Exhibition by Joseph MartinezAnchorage Museum AIR, AlaskaSolo
2011Marble PanthersIstanbul Biennial, Istanbul, TurkeyGroup
2011Gold Paintings InstallationSite Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, New MexicoGroup
2010FotoFest Biennial 2010Houston, TXGroup
2010How Many Billboards?Mak Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010TerritoriesLuckman Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009The Social Critique, 1993-2005Kalmar Konstmuseum, Stadsparken, Kalmar, SwedenGroup
2009The EndAndy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PAGroup
2009Text Works / Con TextoEDS Galeria, Mexico City, MEXGroup
2008Whitney BiennialWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2008Coup de GrâceSimon Preston Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous TimesOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CAGroup
2008Arte ‚ Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960-2000El Museo del Barrio, New York, New YorkGroup
2008Nina in PositionArtist Space, New YorkGroup
2007Substance & SurfaceBortolami Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007In Someone Else's SkinThe Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New YorkGroup
2007Divine ViolenceThe Project, New YorkGroup
2007Have you seen my Clark Nova or I want to vomit in your mouth and hope you gag on your insipid lies (dancing is still the only way to start a revolution)EDS Galeria, AprilSolo
2007In Someone Else's SkinThe Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New YorkGroup
2007Breaking SilenceCCS Bard Hessel MuseumGroup
2007Witness to War: Revisiting Vietnam in Contemporary ArtThe Fine Arts Gallery at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CaliforniaGroup
2006Beautiful Suffering - Photography and the Traffic in PainWilliams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MassachusettsGroup
2006Civil RestitutionsThomas Dane Ltd., LondonGroup
2006Black Panther Rank and FileYerba Buena Center for the ArtsGroup
2006An Image Bank For Everyday Revolutionary LifeREDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Los AngelesGroup
2006Cairo BiennialAmerican Pavilion, CairoSolo
2006How I Fell in Love with my Dirty BombLos Angeles Exhibitions, LASolo
2005Indelible ImagesMuseum of Fine Arts, HoustonGroup
2005Just for the Fun of ItInSite, ConversationsGroup
2005Touch of EvilEstation Tijuana, Tijuana, MéxicoGroup
2005Why Didnft God Invent Coco-Cola Soonercommission for San Juan Triennial, San Juan, Puerto RicoGroup
2004The House America BuiltThe Project, New YorkSolo
2004The Human ConditionMuseum of the Universal Forum of Culture, Barcelona, Spain, MayGroup
2004Tinneblas: Poeticas artsticas de la violenciaEACC, Espai DfArt Contemporani De Castello, SpainGroup
2003Only Skin DeepICP, International Center of PhotographyGroup
2003Whiteness: A Wayward ConstructionLaguna Art MuseumGroup
2002Mixed Feelings: Art and Culture in the Post-Border MetropolisUSC University of Southern California, Fisher Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2002A Show That Will Show That a Show is Not Only a ShowThe Project, Los Angeles, CA, June -Jens HoffmannGroup
2002Coyote, quiero a mexico y mexico me quiere o simplemente otro mexicano muertoCineteca-Fototeca Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico Solo
2002To Make a Blind Man Murder for the Things He's SeenThe Project, Los AngelesSolo
2002Without AnesthesiaSF Camerawork, San Francisco, CASolo
2001More Human Than HumanThe Project, New York, NYGroup
2001SEEINGLacma-Lab, Los Angeles County Museum of ArtGroup
2000Aztlan Hoy: La Postnacion ChicanaSala de Exposiciones del canal de Isabel II, Madrid, SpainGroup
2000Coyote, I like Mexico and Mexico likes me, Coyote, quiero a mexico y mexico me quiere o simplemente otro mexicano muertoMOCA Mexcio City, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, MexicoSolo
2000god made me do it (I suppose you know what your are doing, but I wonder if you know what it means)Orchard Gallery, Derry, IrelandSolo
1998Double Trouble: The Patchett CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CAGroup
1997Unbuilt Southern CaliforniaGuggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CAGroup
1995Civil Rights NowSoutheastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NCGroup
1995Distant Relations-A Dialogue Between Chicano, Irish and Mexican ArtistsIKON Gallery, Birmingham, UKGroup
1995NeotomaOtis Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA Group
1994Artists-in-Residence ExhibitionGallery IV, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1994The Camera PoliticThe Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
1994Cidade ImaginadaIII Fórum Brasilia de Artes Visuais, Brasilia, BrazilGroup
1994Collaborations: Inside the Armory, Out on the StreetArmory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CAGroup
1994Los Angeles: Mind QuakesBreda Fotografica Foundation, Breda, NetherlandsGroup
1993The Whitney BiennialNew York Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
1993Venice BiennaleThe Aperto, Venice, ItalyGroup
1993Twenty-three Blows of the DaggerRandolph Street Gallery, Chicago ILSolo
1993Members OnlyCharles Poy Gallery, Barcelona, SpainGroup
1993My Culture, Our CultureLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
1993Revelaciónes / Revelations: Hispanic Art of EvanescenceHerbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Group
1992I Pissed on the Man Who CXalled Me a DogNew Langton Arts, San Francisco, CASolo
1992About CensorshipWomen's Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY Group
1992Art Against AIDSSanta Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1992Beyond Glory: Re-Representing TerrorismMaryland Institute College of Art, BaltimoreGroup
1991Tight, White, and RightCenter of Contemporary Art, SeattleSolo
1990Sections from Self-Help GraphicsBarnsdall Art Park, Junior Art Center, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1990Post Chicano Generation in Art: Breaking BoundariesMars Artspace, Phoenix, AZGroup
1990Le Démon des AngesEspace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, FranceGroup
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