Snapshot from the Studio by SCAPE Martinez

In the trap, putting in the work...

Snapshot from the Studio...
An extra, extra prolific few days in the Laboratory. I was pondering many thoughts and questions,... chasing the proverbial "dragon's tail",.. looking for that rush, chasing that perfect aesthetic, the perfect movement, the perfect gesture.... with all the creative thoughts rushing in my spirit, I wondered "when does Nothing become Something, and when does that Something become Nothing?"... Because I can be a whirling dervish of movement, but seemingly without singular focus, just intention, it doesn't make sense in the moment, because in the moment I'm like "put red on this, purple on that, turn this, cut that, splash black on there, green here..." answering to all the prompts in my head, that seem to try to capture snippets of the Universe, and it only makes sense AFTER...

Enter: the Color PURPLE for 2016! by SCAPE Martinez

I have always, always tried to challenge myself.

The idea being that I'd like to put myself in a box, and try to get out of it. As a child, I would do this in a very literal way, but we won't go there right now.. sigh... In many ways, I am sure that is a metaphor for other things in my existence, but creatively speaking, I like to challenge myself by putting certain restraints on me and then finding solutions to them.

For example, years ago, when I was active in the street, one thing that I would do is give myself a certain palette of colors to use, a very restrictive palette, or a palette of what we would call "garbage colors", the palest of blues combined with a earthy moss green, coupled with a watered down "nuclear yellow",.. color combinations that would just not work... the idea being, you better make it work, either by focusing on letter styles, or color techniques... the challenge was always to get better, to challenge the norm, and to maybe discover something new.

The one thing I discovered with all those icky colors, I always made them work, discovering that hey, you know what?... It's not the color choices, but how one uses them is what is important...

So now here we are in the beginning of the new year 2016, and I am consciously thinking about a new way to challenge myself, and how it can bring about new and unexpected results.

I am going to choose a single color, a single hue, that will be the predominant focus for that calendar year. It will be about that color, and all it's characteristics, it's hues, it's tints, it's properties,... everything about it, how it's spelled, the letters, the shapes, what comes to mind when you speak it. Tangible, intangible, solid and abstract,.. the unwrapping of that color...

For 2016... that color is PURPLE!

Now some may ask "Dude, why purple?"... and I will summarily respond, why not?...

The color purple is a choice based on a symbolic reaction to where I feel I am in this juncture in my journey... it is not something that I pulled from a proverbial hat, it was felt out, not thought out, but felt out... I had my antennae raised up high, and what came down was a snippet of red and blue, intermingled to create "purple".... I swished it around for a while... and I agreed with the note from On High.

The color purple is a snapshot... it's a snapshot of an expression, a series of moods that I find myself in, and an attitude.

In case you were wondering here are a few attributes of Purple:

  • It's a color that people love or hate.
  • Purple is the hardest color for the human eye to discern.
  • It is rare in nature.
  • It symbolizes royalty and...
  • Dignity
  • Spirituality
  • Creativity

Purple is the color of the imagination, it can be creative and individual or immature and impractical, and I am arguably revealing a bit too much about myself in that attribute.

Purple is also a color of introspection and I think that is where this road leads... it is a color that allows us to get into our deeper thoughts, it assists those that are seeking the meaning of life and spiritual fulfillment.

So let's see where this goes, as the challenge is made, the paint is mixed, the spraypaint is ordered!

2016... LET'S GO!...

 

 

Enter: the San Jose Downtown Association by SCAPE Martinez

It is with GREAT ENTHUSIASM, that I share some recent developments...

I was selected from a pool of artists, by the San Jose Downtown Association, (the SJDA), and the SoFa Streetprint Committee, to create TWO large, streetprints that will be gateways to the SoFa area, (shown below with the pink arrow and pink outline in the crosswalk.)

One of the corners, 1st street and East San Salvador, where one of the streetprints will go.


There will be TWO created, one will be 55 x 45 feet, the other 30 x 40 feet. They will be designed by me, then fabricated and installed directly onto the asphalt. This commission is significant on many, many levels, not the least of which is location and visibility.

Once installed they will be seen by umpteenth amount of passerby in the area. Also, the sight lines of the work will allow it to be seen by the nearby towers and newly build condo residences. And the work will be seen by even airplanes flying overhead as the artwork is going right under the airports flight path.

Also, in terms of eyeballs on the project, the work will be fasttracked, and installed by early 2016.... aaaaand, wait for it.... We will have a grand unveiling early February 2016 to stay in tune with.... The Super Bowl!, as fate would have it, there will be many S.B. events explicitly in that area, and during that time. So we'll see where this all goes...

I don't know what I will do, YET, but it will be something INNOVATIVE, and most importantly,.. FUNKY!

A Stitch in Time at the Cheyenne River Youth Project Part 1... by SCAPE Martinez

My journey to the Cheyenne River,... this is part 1, there will be more "stitches" to come...

 

I wondered aloud, "What am I going to do?"...

Speeding for three hours from the Rapid City Airport to the place that I've heard so much about. A new world of experiences, a country within a country if you will... I was nervous... after all, "what was I going to do?"...

I rarely get nervous when I paint outdoors, rarely get nervous when passerby watch. I just do my thing, shake my hands, flick my wrists, be the Maestro to the orchestra that unfolds, but this was decidedly different. I WAS NERVOUS... could it be that I held the situation in such high regard?... that I listened intently to each and every nuanced conversation in order to plan this? That I didn't want to appear ignorant? a buffoon?.. one of "those"?...

"What if I offend with my choice of colors or images or wording?"...

"What if I get run outta town, and clear off the Rez?"...

All the while, I recognize that something bigger was at work, and instead of being nervous, I needed to rest in the knowing that this all was bigger, and I was, or I am, just a piece of all of this... sitting in the passenger side as we rumbled along for about three hours I reflected... I looked to where the sky met the land and how that line stretched for the as far as I could see...

"The air smells different"...

"The sky looks different"...

"I will be different"...

I think that I hid my state of nervousness pretty well, maybe showing a few chinks under the armor here and there... but then the inevitable.. to to rock... time to perform...

"Scape, you ready?" was the question... "sheeeesh, I don't gets ready, I stays ready!" is always the answer... BUT, what was I going to do? I got my crates of paint, I got my caps, I got my supplies, ladder, etc... even got some choice buff paint, but the lingering question... lingered...

I learned something as I approached the wall,... I can outsmart myself, I can get mired in the "to do", when I need to get mired in the "to feel"... I got to feel it out and trust the process... you been doin this far too long to fall off here and now... you traveled thousands of miles to get here, too late to fail and the wind was underneath your wings... you got this.

I figure three days would do the trick,... one day of prep and under painting, another of fills, and finally the finish,... I got stuck on the finish. I wracked my brain, and drove "Julz" crazy with my ideas, I nearly broke Google, overheated my phone, thinking about words and phrases in Lakota... some were OK, some not so much...

Then it hit me,.. it's NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING!... after a restful night of sleep,... the choice was made, actually the choice was already made, I just got the message when I was able to clear my mind to receive it... "Don't worry about what it says, worry about what it does"... DONE!...

On that Third Day, I was tired, at first, but when I got that word, I was juiced!... as I sipped my coffee at the Keya Cafe... I felt like I had a few secrets under my cloak, ready for the world to see... it was RED, BLACK, YELLOW, and WHITE.. the four colors that represents the four bands,... I didn't recognize how deep it went... I also didn't recognize that in part this was a moment of "creative confirmation"... I've done similar before, in other work BUT I never felt that it was "OK", that it was enough,.. here I learned that amplifying it, respecting it, showing it, understanding it, THAT was enough...

The circle is a Divine Shape,..."Creation is Continuous." Lakota Proverb... I learned this...

After the third day, this is where I ended up:

 

The finished work!... less about what it "say", and all about what it "does"...

In the end, it was a great flattering touch to be on the front page of the newspaper!

Detail shot of what WAS a boarded up window...

Standing on a ladder, looking over my shoulder, wondering what am I doing on the Rez?...

MANY, MANY thanks to everyone who made this journey possible, as it was equal parts a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual one: Executive Director, Julie Garreau and Tammy Eagle Hunter, Youth Programs Director, and all the staff at the CRYP.

For more information about The Cheyenne River Youth Project, click here: http://www.lakotayouth.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What's My Style?" the Creative Process #3 by SCAPE Martinez

Scape Martinez discusses communicating with color, and communicating with techniques. What it does, as opposed to what it says. There is a martial arts connection...

Every now and again, when I do artwork in a public space, people often ask me, "What's my style?"... I usually have an incredulous look on my face, as for me, since I'm paining in plain view, my style is plain to see...

Sometimes that's not enough... people want to probe more, know more. And that's fine, sometimes end up asking myself "What's my style", and there I find it hard to quantify, hard to describe, hard to pin down. I like to think that my style is a style of no style. I'm very pragmatic, I like to simply get it done. Execution is what's important... which is where I think the martial art connection comes up.

View the video, and enjoy!

"CELEBRATION" at Jack Farrell Park x Creative Work Fund by SCAPE Martinez

This is the street view from Fordham Road.

After working for days on end, I finally was able to complete one of the biggest projects of my career. Spanning just over 227 feet, the Public Art piece at Jack Farrell Park culminated a years worth of work. After initially receiving a Creative Work Fund Grant, we set upon this course to create something innovative, different, and powered by the community.

 

The view from the other side of Jack Farrell Park

The "we" in this case, were The Mural Music and Arts Project, myself, key members of the community, and a few youth artists. As part of the grant, we needed to work in areas deemed to be "Hot Spots", the city's most dangerous locations, areas plagued by gun violence. After viewing a number of locations we settled with Jack Farrell Park. We decided to push the envelop in the sense of the sheer size of the work, it is too wide to fit in a simple photo.

Standing in the center of the basketball court, this is the view to the left.

Over time we were able to engage many, many members of the community, and various stakeholders to get input in everything from the scope of the work, to ideas of colors, concepts, and content. This level of community engagement culminated with a large design workshop hosted at East Palo Alto City Hall. From that design workshop, there were themes that bubbled up for the artwork. The community wanted something robust, progressive, celebratory, and vibrant. In the end, I think we delivered that.

The view from the basketball court to the center of the work.

The colors and shapes bob and weave, ebb and flow. The central them is one of "CELEBRATION", capturing all of the "Voices of EPA", into a singular song. While installing the work, we had to fight the weather, sometimes painting in the rain. Wiping the walls down with towels and getting some protection from the trees, we plied our trade.

The view to the right.

The one thing that stood out from the whole installation was the level of community interaction. Everyday, as we worked, people walked by, took pictures, talked with us, and on occasion even painted with us! The commentary was overwhelmingly positive, and the variety from which the positivity came from was telling. Kids, adults, Black, Latino, White, and your neighborhood "rogue", all from The Town, cheered us on from start to finish.

This was a journey that stretched my sensibilities as an artist, both from a creative standpoint and a physical one, after all, it is 227 feet!

"The Art of Screaming in Color", Scape Martinez x KQED Arts by SCAPE Martinez

Graffiti artist Edward Martinez adopted the alter-ego "Scape," for Screaming Creative and Positive Energy. That positive charge is evident both in his vividly pulsating paintings and in his work with underserved youthin East Palo Alto. For more info on this and other stories in this KQED series, visit http://bit.ly/1mF7fus

It has been almost a year, WOW how time flies!... About a year ago I had the golden opportunity to work with KQED Arts.

I was approached to see if I was interested in being a part of their online "Artists Series", to showcase the work that I do, whether that was my work in the street, in the studio, or in the community with youth. Of course I answered a resounding "YES!"... it was a fascinating experience to say the least, being that the final outcome was a 3 minute video, I was stunned to learn the amount of work that was needed to be done. HOURS of work, and TONS of equipment, not that you could see any of that in the final clip!... I actually got a liking to the camera, maybe there's a future there?

Overall, I had a great time, and learned so much. Working with professionals, award winning leaders in their field. Thank you Cynthia Stone, and the crew!

Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry Showroom Visit by SCAPE Martinez

I recently had the chance to go to the main showroom of stephensilverfinejewelry and take a few pics of my artwork and the Fine Jewelry as they were on display. The entire place was visually stunning as they did an INCREDIBLE job of pairing the works together. I was blown away,... It looked like a veritable art gallery of my work, as it is EVERYWHERE. It was one thing to see my work photographed for their lookbook, quite another when you walk into a showroom and see it. You can also see some of the work at their boutiques at the luxury Menlo Park Hotel, The Rosewood Sand Hill as well... in short, it is all quite AMAZING!

Below are a few pictures of the setting. ENJOY!

I love this image... the way the gems are balanced on top of the spraycan, well balanced, both literally and visually.

Lots of textures going on here. Love how the colors fold and bend, lots of color and movement swirling around the jewels.

Detail shot of one of the displays.

The display forms were treated from a three dimensional point of view, meaning the idea was to transform space as opposed to just painting a flat surface.

Very cool how the colors just work!