For this week's release, we had the pleasure of chatting with Christopher Martin, a prominent American artist, about his craft, approach, and background.
With galleries in Dallas, Aspen, and Santa Fe, Christopher has taken his talents from a passion project to a full-scale career. And, in doing so, he's developed quite a following and series of accolades for his efforts.
As a long-time Rye customer, we were thrilled to catch him during a recent visit to Dallas and to shoot at his beautiful gallery in Dallas' Design District.
And, given Chris' history with our brand, we took the opportunity to do something new. For this collection, we're introducing a striking new product, The Dillon Chore Coat, as a pre-order ahead of our Spring/Summer 17 line's unveiling and launch. (And it's $50 off for pre-orderers, too.)
Matt Alexander: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Christopher Martin:I guess that would depend on when you ask me.
At times I am confident, relentless, and extremely prolific. Other times, I can feel like a rudderless boat searching for the next wind or current. Whipped and exhausted.
It's difficult to describe the multitude — and range — of feelings an artist might have about him or her self, without associating it with a defined moment or time period. You either feel as though you suck or you don't.
Neither feeling lasts, fortunately.
As a more descriptive and succinct summary of what I produce, I like to refer to it as Organic Expressionism, wherein a successful painting will have a balance of painterly expressionism and strong, organically-formed foundations.
Matt Alexander: At what point did you decide to pursue art as your livelihood?
I painted to satisfy my own interest and curiosity. But, when people started to pay me to purchase and own my paintings outright, a new light was cast on this little thing I'd done for myself for years.
It felt good and I wanted to share that experience again and again.
And, really, that has been my focus ever since.
Matt Alexander: You currently have galleries in Dallas, Aspen, and Santa Fe. How do you go about selecting locations? Do you have any others in the pipeline?
Christopher Martin:I think it is more about a feeling and a desire to make your art part of a community that will appreciate your work.
Once you feel that sense of appreciation, you explore the opportunity to make something happen in that market.
It is also the people that can make it work in a given space. You may have a great location and idea, but, ultimately, it's about the passion of the people working in that location that makes it viable.
I never say never, but I am content with our three locations at this point.
Matt Alexander: Are you involved in anything outside of your art or is that your sole focus?
Christopher Martin:Yes, I'm the co-founder of a Google Ventures-backed startup, Twyla.
It's an art company that produces and sells limited editions from some of the most interesting artists around.
Matt Alexander: You’re involved in a number of art fairs and installations. Where can people find your work this year?
Christopher Martin:Well, we are accessible, of course, at the galleries in Dallas, Santa Fe, and Aspen. In addition to those, we work with Gallerist in The Hamptons, Houston, Chicago, and La Jolla.
We will also be at fairs in Miami, Palm Springs, NY, Brussels, and, possibly, Dubai.
All our information on shows this year is posted on my website.