Notes by Bjorn Calleja
If one would ask when you look at the horizon, what do you see? The answer, as simple as it is, is you see the horizon, and you find yourself in the middle of everything from your perspective and in harmony with the space you occupy in this world and within you. This is the same stillness and sanctuary to which painter Genepaul Martin retreats and becomes himself in his paintings. For his most recent series of works, the artist attempts to define the middle space between the activity of painting and the physicality of the object that is the painting, his highly colored and loosely handled approach on making images embarks on a radical re-assessment of how elements such as shape, color, texture, the materiality of the medium, and both familiar and unknown figures might be located in spaces within each canvas. Genepaul paints landscapes within landscapes, figure studies and characters, disfiguring their readability through the interlocking of images and paint, allowing an experience of a variety of conflicting emotions from every accident and chance generated by applying all sorts of ways of putting paint on, altering the implications of these images and avoiding any problematized purpose or meaning.
In one of Genepaul’s paintings the objective transitioned, from an attempt to organize a clutter of ideas into a single box, to painting a portrait of the middle space, abolishing context but discovering a fresh meaning both personal and universal as the painting progresses. The exhibit’s title piece, Middle Space, depicts a never-ending pursuit of balance within its elements and the weight they carry within the composition, the raw, the disturbing and the anxious becomes beautiful and every thought and feeling disappear into the painting’s horizon. The painting entitled the Anxious Painter on the other hand, fantasizes on the romantic ideologies of the self-portrait, but instead of painting an image in the likeness of the artist, it portrays the anxieties that are derived from creating. Genepaul embodies the sense of nakedness an artist endures and how one could see through the disorientations, overthinking and restlessness the artist confronts, opposite a blank canvas, brush on hand, toes mutated and thoughts deep in the horizon.