British-born artist Shantell Martin will create a new mural next spring on the East Side as part of a collaboration among the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, University at Buffalo graduate students and neighborhood residents.
Martin will create the mural in May, two months into her solo exhibition, which runs from March 11 through June 25 in the Albright-Knox. The location will be selected as part of a project executed by UB graduate students and overseen by the Creative Arts Initiative, a program designed to connect Buffalo's arts community with the university.
Martin, who has been building buzz in the art world for her collaborations with fashion brands and musicians, is known for her playful and gestural style. Her work almost always features black lines on white surfaces, creating often enormous networks of shapes and lines that resemble wild scientific diagrams or maps to imaginary kingdoms.
She recently collaborated with musician Kendrick Lamar for a 75-minute performance that was part of Art Basel Miami Beach.
"Her work had layers to it. It's kind of like the music that I make," Lamar told Billboard in a recent interview. "Her drawings actually remind me of something at home [in Compton] when I was growing up in my neighborhood, and I seen different artwork on the walls -- just gang writing."
"I’m totally an outsider on the inside on the outside,” Martin told W Magazine in April. “I’m not going to let you put me in a box. I’m still an artist; I have this need to draw and create and connect and share so I’m just going to draw on whatever I can."
Spontaneity and chance are also essential parts of her work, which will soon appear in an East Side venue yet to be determined.
"Her compositions are at turns whimsical, dramatic, flowing, and compact," according to a release from the gallery. "Her production is itself a performance of movement and grace, chance and reaction, inspiration and intuition."
Martin will conduct a workshop with UB graduate students on March 13, 2017 as well as a public conversation about her work on that day in the UB Screening Room. She will return on April 7, 2017 for another public conversation in the Albright-Knox.