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  • Guy Martyr

Some musings by the artist, 2013

A look round contemporary art: 

Let’s start by bicycle: this is, after all, the age of the bike. The parody of the modern artist offered by Tony Hancock in ‘The Rebel’, cycling the paint over his canvas comes to mind. Notions of ‘modern art’ being unknowable still exist fifty years later.

Duchamp’s bicycle wheel in forks, placed upside down in the seat of a stool, acts like a gauntlet for the tussles of art: the found or the made, tradition or innovation, the hand or the machine, aesthetics or ideas.

Things have not settled down.

Under the tossed waves of high-profile art flow the ever-present depths of tradition – popular perception, non-expert activity, traditional means’, forms and situations of art. Skill at hand-manipulation is variously praised and denigrated; the artist as prime-maker, or as orchestrator of the actions of others is argued; the ubiquitous apparition of technology-originating imagery and object leaves much art copying those modes, if only to be seen by eyes so stringently attuned.

Painting by finger, by breath, by brush, sponge, spray-gun, inkjet. Emotion on a surface, or none? Emotion as content, or none? The Great question of creation as content, or the great questions of a regime, or the smaller questions of the social universe, or the solipsistic questions of the individual artist – all do their stately ballet.

Another broken taboo?

Painting is or isn’t dead!

Who will buy?

Self Portrait: 'Schnell Imbiss/

Calculator' 1987; marker pen on

polythene, cardboard tray,

calculator; 4.25 x 6.5 inches

The Artist's style

An artist is commonly known by a 'style' - a concisely defined formal range. And however far we reach, we can not embrace infinity.

We are all limited.

What I do as an artist comes from deep inside; I don't plan it. I might design, once an idea has wormed its way to the surface; I certainly act carefully in the making process; but I maintain the freedom to hop across a wide playground of form and posture.

Who is the 'me' in all this?

What does a viewer get to allow them to say 'that's a Guy Martyr' ?

I know I feel the same about all my works; and my touch is the same in all my works. I am confident that my 'handwriting' becomes evident over time: it can be seen in the touch.

Look carefully; look for my touch. 

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