False Face

Amanda Martinez

styrofoam, vinyl flashe, acrylic, varnish, hand-embroidered felt on pleather and vinyl
approx. 4.5' x 3' x 6"


Artist website


artist statement

My work has often stemmed from a formal interest in props, with titles often taken from ballet, music or the theater. I have recently begun to move beyond a broad theatrical point of reference into each of its associated parts: the dramatic, the macabre, the subtle, the experience, the audience, the curtain. Being more specific actually allows me to be less constrained in making. This is the beauty of abstraction, of looking at reductive minimalism, of experiencing nature, of being in a darkened theater. They are all one in the same; enveloping works of totality but incomplete and open enough that you must somehow participate. I used to not allow myself to enjoy this free association while working, worried that it veered toward the mystical or romantic. But this kind of caution simply can’t happen if one is to truly have an uninhibited relationship with the abstract.

It shouldn’t matter if I’m watching Dario Argento’s Suspiria or 1950’s UFO reels; the aesthetic pang that resonates is the same as looking at a sculpture by Anne Truitt, neon by Chryssa or a Memphis table. While deeply rooted in academia, abstraction can be a numinous soup and I’m interested in validating this fuzzy relationship. At what point is an object active or merely a prop? Our culture puts more pressure on sculpture to be “doing something” than ever before. I actively strive for my work to be inactive in the atypical sense: not to be viewed as neutral, but aggressively speaking in a quiet, persistent voice.

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