Daniel Joseph Martinez

Current Fellow

Fellow: Awarded 2019

Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

Daniel Joseph Martinez
b. Los Angeles, California 1957

Daniel Joseph Martinez was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 1979. He was a student of Michael Asher and did post graduate studies with Klaus Rinke 1980-81. Throughout his career spanning four decades, Martinez has engaged in an interrogation of social, political, and cultural mores through artworks that have been described as nonlinear, asymmetrical, multidimensional propositions. Operating with fluidity and as open source manifestations not bound by any singular category, his works extend from the ephemeral to the solid. Martinez’s practice is media fluid, taking the form of text, sculpture, photography, painting, installation, robotics, performance, and public interventions to unapologetically question issues of the politics of race, free will, human nature, personal and collective identity, vision and visuality, and the fissures formed between the appearance and the perception of difference. Ongoing themes include contamination, history, surveillance, violence, nomadic power, cultural resistance, war, dissentience, time travel, post humanism, AI, machine intelligence, quantum physics, interdimensional travel, and systems of symbolic exchange, directed toward the precondition of politics coexisting as radical beauty. Their commonality is that they all address topics of race, class, Idenity and sociopolitical boundaries present within American society.

Martinez represented the U.S. in 11 biennials worldwide, including the Venice Biennial (1993); Istanbul Biennial (2011); Berlin Biennial (2010); California Biennial (2008); Lyon Biennial, France (2013); two Whitney Biennials (1993, 2008); he represented the United States in the American Pavilion in the Cairo Biennial (2006), Moscow Biennial, Lima Biennial, Quebec Biennial, in addition to two international projects of U.S. Department of State. Martinez has received three National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artists Fellowships, an individual Artist Fellowship from the Getty Center, an Alpert Award in the Arts and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Flintridge Foundation Fellowship; United States Artist fellowship, Two Anchorage Museum Residency Awards; CannonBall Residency Award Miami, Florida; ArtPace Foundation Fellowship/Residency, San Antonio, Texas; California Arts Council Fellowship; COLA, City of Los Angeles Fellowship; Most recently, Martinez is the recipient of the Career/Lifetime Achievement Award honoring brilliance and resilience in conjunction with the Hammer Museum’s biennial, Made in L.A. 2018; the 2018 Rockefeller Foundation, Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship/ Residency at the Bellagio Center, Italy; the 2017 Life Time Achievement Award for The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation’s 15th annual Grants & Commissions Program; the prestigious honor of receiving the American Academy Fellowship/Residency in Berlin, Germany (Berlin Prize) in 2016 and the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts from the Herb Alpert Foundation in Los Angeles in 2014. The Headlands Center Residency, San Francisco 2019.

Martinez’s work can be found in public collections in the United States including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles County Museum, LACMA; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, MFAH; Orange County Museum of Art, OCMA; Des Moines Art Museum, Iowa; Newport Beach, California; San Diego Museum of Art; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, Florida; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and The Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas.

Committed to artist-run and not for profit galleries and organizations, Martinez was a co-founder of Deep River and LA>
Martinez is a Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of California at Irvine; he teaches in the Graduate Studies Program, New Genres Area and Critical & Curatorial Studies. He lives and works in the Crenshaw District in South Los Angeles.

Profile photograph by Katherine McMahon

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