John Martin

Born 1963, Marks, Mississippi
Has practiced at Creative Growth since 1987

John Martin creates drawings from memories of time spent with his family on their Arkansas farm. John’s signature imagery makes his work instantly recognizable: trucks, snakes, pocket knives, and cell phones, as well as an occasional item from his collection of discarded valuables found on the street. Through his extraordinary imagination, John transforms everyday objects into talismans of sharp-toothed animals and goofy characters. His early, genre-based work is depicted in lively colors that cover the entire surface of the paper. John’s style has recently become more refined and minimal, often depicting just the outlines of objects. John also works easily in both wood and ceramic. His pieces both mimic functionality in their form, while subverting practicality through his outrageous animal mash-ups, larger-than-life Leatherman tools, and mysterious signifiers. In 2014, John was invited by Facebook to create a site-specific artwork as part of the inaugural Artist In Residence (AIR) program at the new Frank Gehry-designed Facebook campus.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2019
The Creative Commons, ArtYard, Frenchtown
Outsider Art Fair, New York

2018
New Art Dealers Alliance Fair, New York
John Martin’s Toolbox, Institute 193 (1B), New York
Art is for Everyone, Telegraph Hill Gallery, San Francisco Visual Oasis: Works from Creative Growth, Carson City San Francisco Art Book Fair, San Francisco
Issue 3, Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles

2017
Outsider Art Fair, New York

2016
Duvel Moortgat Fund, Madmusée, Liege, Belgium
Take A Seat, St. Supery Estate Vineyard and Winery, Napa Valley, curated by Topher Delaney
Celebrating a Vision: Art and Disability, SFO Museum, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco

2013
Multi-tools, Institute 193, Lexington, curated by Chase Martin
Undercover Genius, Petaluma Arts Center, Petaluma
Margins to Mainstream, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa
Almost Home, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco
Park Life, San Francisco

2012
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea Independent Art Fair, New York
Outsider Art Fair, New York

2011
Exhibition #4, Museum of Everything, London