Known for his vibrant, hyperreal paintings representing dreamlike locations of pleasure and recreation, earlier this month Will Martyr collaborated with Unit London to present ‘Fathoms’ an exhibition of stunning new work on a grand scale from the London-based painter following his 2017 debut solo show Wanderlust.
Fathoms is comprised of eight large-scale tondos, the renaissance name for circular works of art, used by Martyr to represent an embracing wholeness and notions of eternity. Martyr’s interest in renaissance paintings is not limited to the shape of the works however, and for this exhibition he has been deeply inspired by the compositions of the early perspective pioneers of the fifteenth century; Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. Whereas Uccello dramatised his battle scenes with the use of lances and rhythmic use of pattern and colour, Martyr utilises the line of a deckchair or fanning of a parasol to lead the viewer through his compositions. Uccello will depict a fine head garment of the central character to offer a place for the eye to rest. Martyr too offers these breaks in the more playful additions of macarons, inflatable flamingos and parasols.
Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, co-founders of Unit London, said, “Will’s paintings inspire a very personal reaction when you look at them, creating a private reminiscence of playfulness and enjoyment in the viewer. His style is also incredibly precise, and his use luminous use of colour creates a warmth and certainty to life, which is both exhilarating and effortless.”
The Fathoms exhibition presents new work that continues to depict locations reminiscent of childhood vacations and moments of relaxation. The settings draw parallels with Hockney’s fantasy compositions, set within the prism of a sunny playground, populated with louche-living. For this exhibition, Martyr has explored more communal areas, inviting the viewer to stay and play. In To Love And Be Loved two deck chairs convey the male and female form without any animate figures. The paintings are full of humanity and familiarity, yet the players are missing. This allows the viewer to inhabit these locations, triggering memories and personal moments from their own past. It is this that makes Martyr’s work euphoric, seductive and contemplative at the same time.
Inspired by Matyr’s thought-provoking collection, Elit Vodka, led by world class mixologists and creative director Vadim Grigoryan, showcased a cocktail titled ‘elit Last Call of Summer’. This limited edition creation was presented alongside their signature cocktails including the Martini and Victory Over The Sun at the Elit Pronoun Bar, crafting a unique dialogue between architecture, art and science, breaking design boundaries and inspiring conversation within the artistic community.
Speaking in an interview at Unit London, Vadim explains what inspired this creative drink
“The futuristic theme of our conversation at Unit London, Post AI world of art and culture, touches upon the slow metamorphosis of the definition of what human is. And what better defines the fragility of humanity than our organic dependence on climate, weather, seasons, the sun…our longing for sun rays and our nostalgia for the summer season prompted us to create elit Last Call Of Summer’. A gulp of warm light to cry out loud « I am human »”