In the Event of A Water Landing
Oil and aerosol on canvas
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By William Wisner
Graphical depictions of directed activities, often to alleviate the possibility of disaster, dominate a suite of works artist Mauro C. Martinez produced in 2016. Martinez was inspired by signs common in subway stations, airports and Walmart stores. The concept of warning would seem to collide with the boring mediocrity of such ersatz venues, and may even have inspired them. Martinez has always been concerned about the probable fate of humanity, as seen by his early “Meat” series, and works associated with the “processing” of animals into food.
In Water Landing an adaptation of an airline brochure directs the dispirited man in the center of the painting what to do in case of an emergency—a moot point since, by his posture and mien of surrender he has already given up. He is past the consequences of the event. The temptation to read a powerful cultural statement into Martinez’s rendering is irresistible, and is compounded by the other works in this series.