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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

  • “The Junkman, 2016, Lithograph, 9 x 12"”The Junkman, 2016, Lithograph, 9 x 12

    The Junkmen that I saw were older Black Men with beater junkyard pickup trucks slowly wandering through the alleys of inner-city Milwaukee. The way they piled up the junk was a sculptural miracle, far better than any preacherâs art car. The radiator would pour out a little steam, the tailpipe a little blue smoke, mismatched fenders and wheels, pulling a homemade trailer. Somehow he reduced the waste while making a living in scrapping it all. The invisible infrastructure every city needs. So, if you have something decent to get rid of donât take it to the for-profit Goodwill store, put it in the alley for the Junkman. 4-color limited edition Lithograph, 9 x 12.

  • “It's Krazy, 2016, Screen print, 10 x 10"”It's Krazy, 2016, Screen print, 10 x 10

    George Herriman's Krazy Kat is blown-up and cropped in order to reveal the four-color printing dots from which he is constructed. The dots are an illusion of tone, the cartoon is an illusion of reality. Illusion is the reality of art. This limited edition print is still available.

  • “Race With the Devil, 2017, ink on paper, 8 x 10"”Race With the Devil, 2017, ink on paper, 8 x 10

    âRace With the Devilâ emerged from the racing scenes in the film âAmerican Graffitiâ, and the imagery in the song âLast Kissâ. Cool hot rods with supercharged motors, Mickey Rats and mythical beasts set the scene for the Bad Boy Rebel racing the Devil to the death. Influenced no doubt by the anti-racing propaganda forced on kids in the 1950â²s and â60â²s. Danger is seductive.

Gregory Martens

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artist bio

Gregory Martens is an Associate Lecturer in the Printmaking Area of the Peck School of Arts at UW-Milwaukee since 2010. He holds a BFA and MFA both in Printmaking, and works from his studio called Hip Joint Press in Wauwatosa WI. Martens’ work is highly figurative, and he blends all aspects of printmaking including traditional and contemporary digital techniques. He also works as a book artist and painter.

Martens exhibits all over the world including: Harbin and Beijing China, Lima and Cuzco Peru, and Valencia Spain. His works on paper have been collected by the International Print Center of New York, The Creative Center at University Settlement in NYC, The Milwaukee Art Museum Print Collection, JM Kohler Art Center, and the University of South Dakota, and the Southern Graphics Council.

artist statement

“Life is told in stories. As an artist, I hope to translate and re-tell familiar stories while keeping a balance between discomfort, solace, and humor. I am interested in the themes from American Vernacular art that arose during the Great Depression: suffering and joy, religion and disbelief, poverty and wealth, the burden of labor and the pride of accomplishment. As a Bone Marrow Cancer survivor, I also explore human frailty and resilience, such as living with illness.”