Martin Hsu Primavera Dejour

Martin Hsu created a whimsical collection of well crafted and visually articulate paintings entitled, “Primavera” now on display at Subtext through April 3. You can enjoy Martin’s latest collection in compliment to a strong showing by Andrew Brandou.

Martin features two styles, organic fashion chic and directly opposed with childhood storybook whimsy. Both styles offer the viewer an invitation to investigate deeper, as the appropriate balance of visual narrative dispels the unexpected. Martin is a talented draftsman originally from Taiwan who earned his BFA from California State University in Fullerton. Martin actively exhibits his work, creates animated characters and illustrates nationally.

mM : Your upcoming show is entitled “Primavera” with Andrew Brandou at Subtext and noticed it referred to the colors of Spring. How would you describe your body of work for this show, and what is one of your favorite pieces?

Mh : My collection of paintings for Primavera is a celebration of the coming of Spring. It's also a tribute to hard working ladies whose lives are intertwined with the blossoming of this festive season. The pieces are inspired by Asian floral fabric patterns of peony and chrysanthemum flowers, which the common folk depended on for their livelihood. In a fantasy world of fashionable nostalgia, these auspicious flowers not only represent memories from the past, but the changing of times.

If I had to choose a favorite piece, it would be "Nostalgia for Peony," (featured below). I think this piece embodies the spirit of this collection. The flower-picking ladies are depicted as hard working peasants whom in my mind—deserve all the modern commodities and luxuries. They are the single source of energy that nourishes the land and makes it blossom.

mM : When I visited your website and researched your work, there are many influences in the worlds of Manga, Commercial Art, Object Art mixed with painterly sensitivity. What do you find influences your work?

Mh : Being a first generation immigrant from Asia, I often find myself swimming in a melting pot of influences from different cultures. From these inspirational countries, I'm most attracted to their folklores and fairytales. I'm also tremendously influenced by creative geniuses in fashion like Alexander McQueen and animation masters like Hayao Miyazaki. But above all, I'll never forget true inspiration lies in my history and my family.

mM : Are you hanging in San Diego? What’s next for you?

Mh : I had a fantastic time in San Diego! It was an absolute pleasure making new friends and meeting art enthusiast of all kinds at the opening. Everyone was extremely encouraging and excited about the collection. I can't thank Subtext Gallery enough for giving me this opportunity to showcase a body of work down south. I very much look forward to another chance at exhibiting in San Diego.

I’m currently brewing up ideas for my next 2-man show at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago in May. Other than that, I can't seem to forget about the stuffed peanut butter and bannana french toast from Cafe 222! It was most delicious...

Kind thanks to Martin Hsu for taking time out to share great perspective and wonderful insight to his latest collection of work, “Primavera,” now on display at Subtext through April 4. Look out for Martin’s work and check out his website. Enjoy.

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