Mujeres de Colores
Kim Martinez, Artist
SPARC is honored to present the work of Salt Lake City Utah artist Kim Martinez to the Los Angeles community for the first time. The exhibition will feature a series of paintings on aluminum and drawings on polyester entitled “Mujeres de Colores.” The exhibition will be available for viewing June 30-July 21.
Kim creates characters that are part real, part imagined. The beautifully rendered paintings are constructed from her memories of specific women and draw on imagery from super heroes, fashion, and other contemporary female identities. She manipulates these various codes to suggest political, social and personal narratives.
For Kim figuration becomes a way to examine stereotypes and to present a vision of dominance and submission, representing both female power and fragility. The psychology of the figures and physicality of painted aluminum call up exoticism and a confrontational sensuality. The hyper sexuality of Kim’s figures is powerful yet vulnerable. Facial expressions of the women she paints have an attention to detail and surface, creating paradoxically a strong impression of unreality. Kim is reminding us these paintings are her attempts to reconstruct personas from her fragmented memory, and determine the effects their experiences and insights have had on society.
The “Mujeres de Colores” are placed on a ground of intense color. Visually the color ground either subtracts or intensifies her skin color. The background color is anxious and significant, indicating impatience for social power structures to change. The lack of context is metaphorical; it portrays repressed cultural memories and the imbalance of social political power.
Kim feels comfortable in a myriad of public roles-human rights activist, community volunteer, engaging teacher and socially responsible visual artist. She is an active artist, muralist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Utah. She is the recipient of the 2003 Salt Lake City Mayors Visual Artist Award, recognizing her community involvement and contribution to the Utah Department of Corrections, Veterans Administration, Utah Hispanic Women’s Association, First Step House and Art Access/Art Positive! In 2006 she received the University of Utah, College of Fine Arts, Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching, Research, and Service. She received fellowships from The Sara Lee Foundation, Ragsdale, Vermont Studio Center, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and a National Endowment For The Arts-Utah Arts Council.