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Charlie James Gallery
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Patrick Martinez at Charlie James Gallery


Patrick Martinez has an uncanny way of pulling the outside in. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Martinez’s large-scale paintings (which he refers to as landscapes) speak the language of Angeleno streets — assembled and painted on stucco grounds, the works are layered constructions that mashup an array of references. Martinez layers images of sunsets, rattle-can line work, and Aztec and Mayan figures beneath found vinyl banners, neon signage, and grids of tile. 

The paintings, made of the same materials as our city’s buildings, expose architecture’s ability to be a bard of culture and history — one that is in constant shift motion and also risks erasure. The layering of the works mirrors the way that LA’s layered fabric is constantly making and remaking itself; a notion that the phrase “Promised Land,” which glows from one of Martinez’s neon signs, complicates. To whom is the land promised, from whom was it taken, and who will inherit it tomorrow? 

On view: September 17 – October 22, 2022

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Photo: @ofphotostudio, Yubo Dong.