“He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares . . . Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Book of Isaiah 2:4)
“Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ” (Book of Joel 3:10)
Allthingsproject is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Alfredo Martinez, the first after his three-year experience in China. Martinez was missing the ol’ “True Grit” of New York City, and so he went to work overseas. He brought back homey tales, such as of donkeys carrying coal in Beijing streets, but he also barely escaped, after three weeks of harrowing detainment by their secret police. His friends include those in the highest levels of China’s cultural elite; but true to form, his recent travails supersede his previous, news-making incarceration for forging Basquiats.
Of course, his dearest subject matter remains the Gun. Alfredo Martinez may just be the Jules Winnfield (“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance . . .”) in the Pulp Fiction of the contemporary art world. Martinez the artist-philosopher and d-i-y weapons master holds the rationale for why the gunslinger steps out of retirement, or what forces the hand of the everyday farmer, or where the ethics could be in aesthetics. His drawings of weaponry are emblematic of present society: efficient, potent, lethal. Irrationality cannot simply be displaced with modern rationality, but rather, finds salvation in prophecies of when Chronos is visited by the Kairos of God– that one day, weapons of war could be elegaic, composed shards viewed only in museums. Then and only then, old soldiers retire for good.
A Timeline About the Artist
1967– Raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and Pennsylvania
1989– After time working in Central America, joins US Army, plays loanshark to soldiers; also stations in Europe
1994– Involved in both East Village art and LES hardcore punk scenes; included in Pat Hearn Gallery’s “Skater Angels”; works for arms dealer in Paris, polishing weapons knowledge
1999– Included in PS1’s “Generation Z” exhibition; had been weapons advisor for Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog (1999) and Henry Bean’s The Believer (2001); Creates and supervises active shooting range for ‘Quiet’, produced by Josh Harris and Leo Koenig, documented within Ondi Timoner’s We Live in Public (2009)
2002-2004– Arrest by FBI and jail for Basquiat-related art forgery. Hunger strikes in prison return his art-making privileges. Works assembled in one-man show at The Proposition gallery in Chelsea.
2005– Included in MoMA’s Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection; also Hello Kitty 30th Anniversary, Mori Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
2007-2010– Lives and works in Beijing, China; interrogation and detainment over three weeks before being deported back to United States
2009– We Live in Public wins Best Documentary at Sundance Festival
2010– Exhibits at White Box, SCOPE Miami
ALFREDO MARTINEZ: New Work After China is the first exhibition of Allthingsproject in 2011, the third year of exhibitions organized by curator Samuel Kho. The curatorial appointment is made possible by a generous grant from the Mustard Seed Foundation, matched by individual gifts. Allthingsproject and its gallery are part of the Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village (NCGV), a house of worship that unabashedly supports cutting-edge visual practices, thoughtful lectures, as well as music and spoken word performances. More info at http://www.allthingsproject.wordpress.com and http://www.ncgv.net.
Opening reception: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, February 24, 2011
(Artist Talk with curator begins at 8:00 p.m.; Jay Double Okay music at 8:30 p.m.; Suggested Admission $5)
ALFREDO MARTINEZ: New Work After China
February 24 – April 9, 2011
Please call for gallery hours or to make an appointment
Admission is free and open to the public
Allthingsproject @ NCGV
269 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
Between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
(Subway A,C, E, B,D,F,M – West 4/ 1, Christopher St.) www.allthingsproject.wordpress.com; www.ncgv.net
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