Martin Withwood - Artist Portrait, photo via

Martin Wittfooth

Canada 1981


Martin Wittfooth
Martin Wittfooth
April 12, 2016

Suggesting the future of the human existence without showing a single person, Martin Wittfooth creates allegorical oil paintings of majestic animals. Excepting traditional techniques of the old Masters in combination with new approaches, his visual language reveals exceptional depth in both medium and content. Indicating the issue of climate changes, his mysterious and beautiful images convey the impression that something in this world is wrong. Although absent, human subsistence is depicted with their rubbish remains, as junked car or demolished buildings, in the world given over to animals that encourage us to think about our place in it.

The artist displays animals in unexpected environment

Martin Wittfooth - Rainsong, 2015 oil painting contact page canvas martinwittfooth book size
Martin Wittfooth – Rainsong, 2015

The Future is in Human’s Hands

Born in Toronto, Wittfooth spent his childhood in Finland. He moved to his hometown to study where he earned his BAA in illustration from Sheridan College and then MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and has been published in numerous relevant magazines, as Hi Fructose or New American Paintings. Surpassing the illustrative genre, he entered the realm of modern masterworks, finding his inspiration in the 19th-century painters. Creating the familiar contents, he incorporates a feeling of dystopia and dilapidation in his post-apocalyptic vision and symbolism of using animals instead of humans as subjects. Wittfooth underlines the possibilities of what could happen if people do not adopt some changes.

Wittfooth explores the theme of shamanism

Martin Wittfooth - Shaman I, 2014 oil painting contact page canvas martinwittfooth book size
Martin Wittfooth – Shaman I, 2014

The Offering

His series of oil paintings named The Offering explore the theme of shamanism and its revitalization worldwide. In accordance with its practice of researching altered states of consciousness in order to interact with the world spirit, Wittfooth asserts that those beliefs have an influence on people’s egos and materialistic obsessions, helping the connection with nature and other humans. There are the traces of destruction in his paintings, as fires rage and oceans surge, but the creatures carry the surreal peacefulness, celebrating the existence, they represent the life-givers.

Collaborative triptych with Jean Labourdette

Martin Withwood - The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 2013
Martin Withwood – The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, 2013

The Passions

Always been drawn to visual art, Wittfooth’s interests and tastes had passed through a lot of changes. During the studies in New York, he had a chance to experiment with oils as medium and to reassess his personal ideas. Exploring his own paintings in series, he is trying to have a wider theme over the whole body of work. Every painting is a piece of a puzzle, but all of them can speak individually, representing their own solo show. In series The Passions, Wittfooth borrowed tittles and composition from classical paintings and sculptures, processing the theme of blind faith and human martyrdom. One of his favorite motifs, the fire, instead the symbol of destruction, here represents the substitution for halo.

The animals are symbolic substitution for humans

Martin Wittfooth - Untitled, 2014
Martin Wittfooth – Untitled, 2014

Displacing Expected Realities

Featuring creatures in unexpected environment, that deviate from the natural surrounding we used to, in Wittfoot’s paintings smog fills the sky and garbage and decay lay on the ground. Small animals get the heroic role, while large ones represent the calmness and peacefulness. Aiming to induce the viewer to question and challenge which is taken for granted, he’s work investigate themes of industry and nature, human influence on environment, the collision of obsolete ideologies with modern fears. His creative language uses the combination of symbolism, the juxtaposition of visual narratives and the displacement of expected realities.

Martin Wittfooth is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery.

Martin Wittfooth lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Artist Portrait, photo via
All images courtesy of Martin Wittfooth

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015OfferingJonathan Levine Gallery, New YorkSolo
2013Nocturnes The National Arts Club, New YorkGroup
2013HEY, Modern Art and Pop Culture group show La Halle St-Pierre Museum, Paris Group
2013I'll Love You 'Til the End of the World Roq La Rue, SeattleGroup
2012The New Romantics Spacejunk, Bayonne Group
2012Group show, SCOPE Art Fair Miami Corey Helford Gallery LA, MiamiGroup
2012Fire Walk With Me: Twin Peaks 20th Anniversary Copro Gallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2012EmpireCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2012Sur-Realism Arcadia Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Suggestivism Grand Central Museum, Los Angeles Group
2011Group show, SCOPE Art Fair Miami Corey Helford Gallery LA, MiamiGroup
2011Group show The Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University, TallahasseeGroup
2011HEY, Modern Art and Pop Culture group show La Halle St-Pierre Museum, ParisGroup
2011Krampus Roq la Rue Gallery, SeattleGroup
201124-7 Lyons Wier Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Group show, PULSE Art Fair Miami Lyons Wier Gallery NY, MiamiGroup
2011Eau de ParfumDorothy Circus Gallery, Rome Group
2011Here and Now Lyons Wier Gallery, New York Group
2011Dark Water Copro Gallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2011The PassionsLyons Wier Gallery, New YorkSolo
2011Hi Fructose Magazine Invitational Show Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle Group
2010TempestCopro Gallery, Santa Monica Solo
2010Group show, PULSE Art Fair Miami Lyons Wier Gallery NY, Wynwood Miami Group
2010Survey Select Wonderhaus, San Diego Group
2010Art ShackLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach Group
2010Art From the New WorldBristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol Group
2010GardensRoq la Rue Gallery, SeattleSolo
2009Don’t Wake Daddy IV Feinkunst Krueger, Hamburg Group
2009BabylonGalerie d’art Yves Laroche, Montreal Solo
2009Group show Galerie d’Art Yves Laroche at Aqua Art Fair, Miami Group
2009Blab, Art Show and book release Copro Gallery, Santa Monica Group
2009Beach Blanket Bingo Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York Group
2009Lush Life Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle Group
2009Overdose: Hi Fructose Magazine Invitational Group Show Copro Gallery, Santa Monica Group
2009Superschool Copro Gallery, Santa Monica Group
2009Pulse Art Fair New York, juried art fair, Pulse Art Fair Copro Gallery, New York Group
2009There’s Still Life Mauger Modern at SCOPE Art Fair, Miami Group
2008Sandcastles in the TideCopro Gallery, Santa Monica Solo
2008KNOW Exhibition, GenArt Vanguard Art Fair Mark Murphy, Miami Group
2008Good Samaritans Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica Group
2008Don’t Wake Daddy III Feinkunst Kruger, Hamburg Group
2008Dreamscapes Definition Gallery, Baltimore Group
2008Hi Fructose Magazine Invitational Group Show Copro Gallery, Santa Monica Group
2008Carnivora: The Dark Art of Automobiles L’Imagerie Gallery, Los Angeles Group
2008 Miami Art Basel, juried art fair, GenArt Vanguard Art Fair Galerie d’Art Yves Laroche, Miami Group
2008The Tales We Tell Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto Group
2007Don’t Wake Daddy II Feinkunst Kruger, Hamburg Group
2007Sweet Calaveras Galerie d’Art Yves Laroche, Montreal Group
2007Re: Mission Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles Group
2007Everything But the Kitschen Sync La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles Group
2006Melting SeasonLa Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles Solo
20066 Person show La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles Group
2006Everything but the Kitschen Sync La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup