Below the surface of Shantell Martin’s characteristic black and white compositions is an artists’ inquiry into the role of artist and viewer. In Martin’s world, a work of art is inseparable from its creator and its audience, and art is more than an object of admiration disconnected from the process of its inception. Rather, she sees her work as a vehicle to forge new connections between education, design, philosophy and technology — the glue in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. Martin’s methodical practice of bringing her audience and surroundings into her drawings is her own reflection on ever changing time and space. Her work is imbued with a sense of duty; the call of an artist to make the connections often invisible to those working within their respective areas of expertise.
Martin’s work with institutions such as the MIT Media Lab, Autodesk and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts denote her ongoing inquiry into new models and technologies that are transforming the way art is made and consumed. Eschewing traditional art world norms, Martin’s work purposefully bridges fine art, performance art, technology and commercial work. Her artwork has appeared in the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora, Bata Show Museum and she is preparing for a 2017 solo show at the prestigious Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York.