Some of his family work as artists; others consider only blue-collar jobs real work. Local history shows his Portuguese ancestors–maritime folks no doubt–arrived in northern California from Madeira and the Azores Islands about 160 years ago. Martin Machado has reconciled his diverging influences to find his own true vocation as a fisherman-artist.
PROCESS. All in all, this San Jose, California-born creative draws on what he experiences in his various jobs at sea. At times Machado starts with found materials–nautical charts from a container ship, driftwood, old fish-packing boxes from an abandoned Alaskan cannery–giving this young seaman a starting point for his art.
He plays with the passing of time as an element, by including various vessels or places seen during a voyage in one work. His art sometimes comments on the global meaning of nautical activities through dramatic negative format-shapes around the main subject.
Between voyages San Francisco is his home now while he has art degrees from the University of California-Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Art Institute.
A six-month stint as deckhand on a container ship that circled the globe resulted in breath-taking views of the prow of the ship across endless rows of containers. Another was “The Clipperton Project,” where he was among a group of artists, scientists and sailors who gathered for a month on a remote atoll in the middle of the Pacific.
Immersion in life on the ocean is his main inspiration: says Machado, “I’m just interested in seafaring culture in all aspects. My artwork and jobs have always just led from one thing to another, and I’ve never felt like I could make work about something I didn’t really know personally.”
MEDIA. His choice of media is diverse but while traveling he favors water media, then oils when he returns to his studio, other times he uses photography. Some of his artworks show experiments with building up translucent images on fiberglass cloth, producing something like the finish on a surfboard or fancy sailboat.
Most of his exhibits have been in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as “As It Was Before” at Gallery Hijinks, or “Breaking Ranks” at Headlands Center for the Arts. Others have occurred in New York and Malaysia.
VENUES. Regular blogging at Fecalface.com; “Commercial Salmon,” a collaboration with Corey Arnold of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch;” KQED Gallery Crawl video with overview/interview at a recent art exhibit at Gallery Hijinks
Please take part in clicking your favorite among this artist’s works: click on the picture (or use the star symbol) you like best to register your vote. Thanks, CLH