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Interview with Eddie Martinez Part III.

Read Part I. Here

Read Part II. Here

Read the print interview with Martinez in the current issue of The Believer.

Ross Simonini

BLVR: Have you been writing much? Graffiti, I mean. 

EM: Growing up, I did in high school. Lots of walls. Mostly, I did lettering, but I was always more interested in the character-based stuff. Figures. Like heads. 

BLVR: And what about murals? Do you do much of those anymore? 

EM: No. I would, if it was the right thing. 

BLVR: What’s your feeling about the selling of art?

EM: It’s so complicated but it’s such a huge part of it, just living in this city. It’s disgusting – the cost! But I make choices. I don’t have to have this nice clean room, you know? There’s plenty of artists working in half this size, but, I mean, I think any artist I know always wants a bigger studio. We’ve become real estate obsessed. 

BLVR: I guess it’s worked out well so far.

EM: Yeah, I haven’t had a job since I started. 

BLVR: Since when? 

EM: Second half of 2006. I was working part time in art handling, but by about the end 2006 I didn’t have to have a job. 

BLVR: Do you feel as if people can look at your paintings and understand who you are? 

EM: I think that what you can get at is people often say that the energy and the frantic quality to it. And that’s definitely me. I’m constantly pacing and drawing, and I’m not a super calm person all the time. I like to chill out and relax [chuckle], but I definitely feel like I have a – I’ve always been likened to a bird, a bird energy, constantly moving around, flapping my head. So, you can get that from the paintings.

BLVR: Right.

EM: Because I’m really relying on the flinging paint and the mistakes, and the spray paint cap getting stuck and making the line I wasn’t trying to make, and shit like that. And the palette, too maybe. My dad started calling that green right there [points] “Eddie Green.”

BLVR: Is your dad an artist? 

EM: No, not an artist, but he was always working with his hands and he still continues to. He’s a contractor. And a lot of the ease with big tools like spray paint and big brushes  comes from growing up with him. And I use silicone in my paintings now. That’s from him, too.

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