Martin Durazo

Martin DurazoArtist’s Statement

My sculptural and installation work is inspired and created from mass produced objects that are often illicit in nature. The videos explore high and low techniques of the medium and reference rave culture and classic cinema, and the paintings and works on paper use aerosol spray paint to explore the aesthetic of anger and frustration in the face of oppressive power structures.

What emerge are themes of survival and optimism. My ongoing Plata O Plomo and Pain Management works explore the polemic between pharmaceutical marketing and the ongoing war on narco drug trafficking, issues of sexuality and commerce, and the structures of incarceration versus rehabilitation. The work juxtaposes these structures through installations that reference the recreation of illicit environments composed of tantalizing objects, videos that symbolize mental synapses of less than savory thoughts through rotating text-based imagery, paintings and works on paper that reference a bastardized use of graffiti media juxtaposing images of ascending pathways through layered sgraffito techniques.

Thus, I use a variety of media infused with a design-like aesthetic to investigate how structures of power, repression and internal dialogue function, and how they simultaneously can oppress, invigorate, inspire and even be usurped in order for the subject to rise above adversity and achieve a higher level of conscious existence.



Selected Solo Exhibitions from 2007-2011

Modularity, Gallery Lara, Tokyo
Pain Management 100, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, Calif.
Plata o Plomo, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles

Empathy Design Company #1, Protomatic Philm Phestival, Phlea Market, and Showroom Phor Home and Health, Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, Calif.

Select Group Exhibitions from 2008-2011

SUR Biennial, Los Angeles
B13, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, Calif.

For Your Pleasure, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles

Theater of Cruelty, White Box, N.Y.

Select Community-Based Artwork

Pain Management 101, Video Production workshop with Virginia Street Teen Center, Santa Monica, Calif.

Fellowships and Awards

Latino Community Access and Participation Grant, City of Santa Monica, Calif. Cultural Affairs Division.
Artist’s Resource for Completion Grant, Durfee Foundation
Artist Residency, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, Calif.

Downtown Los Angeles Artist Grant


M.F.A., 1998
Art, University of California, Los Angeles

B.A., 1990
Art and English, Pitzer College, Claremont, Calif.

London Internship Program for the Visual and Performing Arts, Boston University, London