Daily Art Moment: Cameron Martin

Image description: Selvian, Cameron Martin, 53 x 40 inches, acrylic on canvas. A portrait-oriented work showing a close view of a rocky landscape in very pale shades of grays and white. Large chunks of rock jut out from the left in the foreground, haphazardly stacked and seemingly crumbling. The background contains more rough terrain in even paper monotone shades. A white border edges the top, bottom, and left side of the painting. A thin, black line runs over the image across the top, down right side and halfway across the bottom of the image.
Cameron Martin (American, born 1970), “Selvian,” 2012, acrylic on canvas, Gift of Camille Uhlir, 2021.32.1

The highly detailed work Selvian by Cameron Martin both excites and tricks my eye. Is this a photograph? A screenprint? A painting? Martin draws from multiple processes to create this piece and others in his Bracket series; he calls his approach “a kind of media collapse” that leaves us slightly disoriented about what we’re seeing. The sharp black lines on top of the image and the white border along three edges also complicate our view of the rocky landscape depicted. Martin explains: “I want there to be a sense that it’s not quite clear whether the images are coming or going—whether the pictures are coming into being or in some sense evaporating—because I think that’s somewhat indicative of where people are in terms of their relationship to nature at this point.”

Sara Krajewski, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

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