BIO | ARTIST STATEMENT

I am a seeker. An explorer. When a visual imperative ignites me, however undefined at inception, it seems to speak in the language and poetry of a particular medium. So by nature I am a multi-disciplinary artist, moving fluidly between mediums, each one enriching the other.

I was born in Brooklyn. During my third year of university studies I was chosen to participate in a study-abroad program in Tours, France under the direction of Erik Koch, former student of and assistant to abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann. Immersion in this intensive master-student environment and life in another culture with proximity to European art collections became a watershed in my life. I remained in France working as an artist for six years only returning briefly to graduate Summa Cum Laude from SUNY with a B.A. in Studio Art.

Exposure to artistically compelling European cinema led me back to New York City where I studied filmmaking at New York University and worked as a cinematographer and editor with luminaries such as Al Pacino and Gregory Colbert. This, in turn, led me back to Paris and ten years in the film and television industry, which culminated in directing and producing the documentary film Silent Sentries, broadcast on PBS. Eventually I returned to New York City, established an art studio on the Lower East Side, and resumed painting as a means of creative expression.

My work walks the fine line between abstraction and suggestive figuration. My earlier work, shaped contextually by a decade in New York City and the years in Paris and Europe, was primarily abstract. Arriving in East Hampton in 2004, the natural surroundings slowly transformed my work. Nature seemed to summon me, asking for recognition, and I became more attuned to its power and rhythms. My visual investigations since then include ‘forest’ nudes, water, fog and forces seen and unseen, for example in my Force Majeure series of Vortexes.

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Photo Credit: Richard Foulser

With the advent of digital video, in an experiment that involved videotaping a model, I discovered the poetry of ‘the moment between moments’ — of a split second of video — and went on to develop an innovative approach to the medium of video stills, coating them with a luscious resin.

Since 2014, my work has been defined by a photographic examination of what lies ‘below.’ As evidenced in the Down Under and Terra series, I am drawn to waterways and terrains, peering down into their depths and mapping their surfaces. The resulting isolation of submerged forms and shadows or patterns leaves the viewer to question their origins. This ambiguity is the key, for it allows the viewer a form of subliminal reflection or identification.

Ultimately, my search is a personal one, a reconnaissance of inner and outer territories — often familiar yet overlooked — to create recognition within the viewer. This recognition or remembrance, whether conscious or not, can remain enigmatic — but is ultimately essentially knowable.

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Jane Martin has exhibited her work in numerous museums and galleries in New York City, Miami, Santa Fe, Dallas, Los Angeles, the Hamptons and Europe – including solo exhibitions at Guild Hall Museum and Islip Art Museum.