Drawing from comics and television, Heather Gwen Martin’s abstract paintings explore playfully violent scenarios where household objects morph into cartoonish weapons and imagined forces battle each other against bright, acidic-hued backgrounds. For her second solo exhibition with Luis De Jesus, titled Recreational Systems, Martin continues to subvert traditional rules, offering canvases whose flat spaces open up almost “three-dimensionally” in ways that skew balance, proportionality, and composition.
A counterpoint to the resulting tension and awkward balance is her clean, controlled brush work and highly saturated colors—qualities directly influenced by and attributable to her experience as a freelance computer illustrator and colorist for DC Comics. Martin acknowledges, “Technology has affected the way that my hand, eye, and brain work because I spent a lot of time at a computer with my hand making shapes and color. You have to be precise with your hand. It’s not real color—it’s the color on the computer, instant and artificial with clean lines precise down to the pixel.”