Cat Atomic’s The Secret Behind the Light

Whether intentional or not, New Jersey native Felix Martinez chose an artistic alias that humorously sounds like “catatonic”, though his creations under the Cat Atomic guise are anything but stagnant. Introduced to the art toy movement by a friend in April of 2014, Martinez’s earliest offerings were character-driven and exhibited a masterful use of color theory, minimally pairing clean swaths of paint for a striking effect. Shifting toward the abstract in 2015, his previously sculpturally-augmented literalness gave way to exploring unmodified forms through meltingly fluid strokes, ones that implied skull-like profiles. While these memento mori works proved popular, Martinez began transitioning towards geometric abstraction, employing intricate patterning upon the eyes, bellies, or other surfaces of his pieces. And never content to let his creativity lie dormant, he has evolved this direction even further for his first Cat Atomic solo exhibition, The Secret Behind the Light.

Cat Atomic’s The Secret Behind the Light Exhibition

Adorning all these newest works with amoeba-like shapes, all executed with machine-like precision, Martinez’s own humanness is betrayed through a handful of slightly thick brushstrokes and infrequently diluted spots of color. Having found a beautiful distinction between repetition and sameness, the artist’s configurations reoccur throughout every form but each one is its own fluidly unique formation. Devoid of discernable meaning, universally able to be understood and appreciated, their appearance’s immediate impact on the viewer being the only revelation promised. Of course, that doesn’t mean that secrets can’t be shrouded within these pieces, as they do collectively constitute The Secret Behind the Light. For instance, the included hand-painted rendition of Tara McPherson‘s aptly named Skull Flower is peppered at the base with similar blue, green, orange, and pink hues as Jim McKenzie‘s The Scarecrow and Beneath the Harvest sculptures, making Martinez’s titling as The Scarecrow’s Harvest all the more meaningful. But, ultimately, the true Secret Behind the Light is Martinez himself, an artist who presents take-it-or-leave-it works that, without evident hesitation, emphasize the harmonious color combinations that his career has consistently revolved around.

Cat Atomic’s The Secret Behind the Light solo exhibition at Clutter Magazine Gallery had its opening reception on Saturday, March 9th from 6-9pm, with all works in this exhibition remaining on display until April 5th, 2019 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

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