Like the Goddamn Internet,
Holly Berman, KillingTheBuddha
Throughout his 40-plus-year career, painter James Martin has adhered to his vaudevillian visions of art. During his 1955 exhibition debut, other artists featured serious paintings with titles like Moon over Water Hemlock and Lunar Pines. Martin showed a work called Radio Active Rat, notes Holly Berman of
Martin, dubbed a "mystic painter of the Northwest," maintains his funhouse metaphysic with visual puns, sight gags, and juxtapositions. But he's not merely making fun of mysticism when he paints a cow floating on the ceiling of a church (Cow on the Ceiling of 1st Baptist Church) or a monk tap dancing while the Lone Ranger stands behind him with a whip (Aging Hero, Dancing Monk), says Berman, he's seeking enlightenment by way of the burlesque.