Below the surface of Shantell Martin’s characteristic black and white compositions is an artists’ inquiry into the role of artist and viewer. In Martin’s world, a work of art is inseparable from its creator and its audience, and art is more than an object of admiration disconnected from the process of its inception. Rather, she sees her work as a vehicle to forge new connections between education, design, philosophy and technology — the glue in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. Her methodical practice of bringing the audience and surroundings into her drawings is a reflection on ever changing time and space.
Martin’s work with institutions such as the MIT Media Lab, Autodesk and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts denote her ongoing inquiry into new models and technologies that are transforming the way art is made and consumed. Eschewing traditional art world norms, Martin’s work purposefully bridges fine art, performance art, technology and commercial work. Her artwork has appeared in the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora, Bata Show Museum and at the prestigious Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
Branding & Design by Anton & Irene with love
If you build it, they will come: and sure enough, from the moment Saraghina opened its doors to a just-burgeoning Bed-Stuy, diners have flooded this cool, multi-room, restaurant decorated in garage sale knickknacks, old butcher signs, and marmalade jars. It's downright adorable. Beginning with a mutual admiration, Shantell was commissioned by owner Edoardo Mantelli to use the exterior of Saraghina’s black walls as her canvas in 2013.
The mural has become an iconic piece of art, and also an homage to Brooklyn, a city Shantell loves and used to call home. She makes it a point to stop by whenever she finds herself in Bed-Stuy. Across one side of the establishment, and saddled beneath a window, lays remnants of Shantell’s pithy artistry “If life doesn’t open a door climb out of a window.”