Martyn Cross

works

04. Swans and Horses
03. Slow Fire
05. Barbaric, Mystical, Bored
‘Swans and Horses’
2018
Oil on canvas
51 x 41cm
£950
‘Bum on the Gon’
2018
Oil on canvas
40 x 30cm
Sold
‘Barbaric, Mystical, Bored’
2018
Oil on canvas
18 x 10cm
Sold
01. Soul Desert
06. Lil' Mud 'n' Rushes
02. Vast Diamond Silence
‘Soul Desert’
2019
Oil on canvas
25 x 35cm
£400
‘Lil’ Mud ‘n’ Rushes’
2018
Oil on scrim
25 x 35cm
£400
‘Vast Diamond Silence’
2018
Oil on canvas
25 x 30cm
Sold

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biography
Martyn Cross

‘My studio practice mostly involves the creation of paintings but I also work with sculptural forms, interventions and installation. The works usually depict beings in ponderous poses and transcendental states, their possessions charged with human characteristics. Taking inspiration from the artwork and artifacts of ancient civilizations, together with signifiers of contemporary living, I try to conjure a world that slips between the cracks; something that is equal parts frightening, funny and falling apart.’
Martin Cross

Eccentric characters populate Cross’s works. They are represented only indirectly, however, through particular accoutrements – a bag, a hat, a walking stick. Cross wanders the city in the manner of a twentieth century flaneur looking for people, places, and items of the everyday. These he examines from the imagined perspective of a person from the future, teasing out their strangeness by subtracting the human whilst at the same time managing to infuse the absent figures with absolute warmth and respect. Plastic bags, ironed, painted and fashioned into objects, for example, have made intermittent appearances in Cross’s work for a while. At times these are formed into small rugs like magic carpets, at others, brightly painted items of clothing – a bright red cap. They are like items of lost property, estranged from the people to whom they once belonged. In one instance a set of red and white striped shopping bags hang awkwardly against the wall. This claustrophobic series, hung one inside another, are ironed stiff and so shrunken. On one is a painted head, the decapitation more than a nod to Caravaggio’s depiction of Holofernes’s beheading. Once bagged, the severance of head from body becomes darkly humorous – capitalised, you might say.
Lizzie Lloyd, writer, 2017 (extract from exhibition text for BRISTOL, a three person show at Peter von Kant, London, 2017)