Sunday, August 30, 2009

In Tandem : Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz

Snow Globes

Huge fans of their work for some time now, we were recently awarded the pleasure to see images from their Traveler series in person at P.P.O.W. Though we didn't get to see the actual snow globes (as many as 750 made by the prolific duo), we delighted in seeing their photographs.

Traveler 186 at Night, 2006

Within the simple constraints of a glass globe, the captivating images in Travelers conjure up entire sequences of imaginary worlds and events. Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz collaboratively create mesmerizing miniature snowbound environments, then record them in chilly color photographs. At first glance the work is playful; on closer observation, it often reveals darker narratives: lone wanderers survey the frigid landscape, people and creatures exhibit unnatural tendencies, and ill-defined crimes are committed.

Traveler 204, 2006

Traveler 46 at Night, 2003

Martin and Muñoz create the figures—either adapting ready-mades or shaping them out of clay—then paint and position them within environments that they also construct. The final compositions are then captured in photographs that are meticulously stitched and adjusted digitally for the final effect. Curator Dan Cameron has complemented the artists on their ability to juggle both visual and psychological charges: “At the same time that they produce riddle-like parables about modern existence, they do not shirk the artist’s obligation to invent a new formulation of tactile and even sensual pleasure.” -Aperture

Traveler 218, 2007
all images © Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz

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