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Focus on: Eddie Martinez

Miami— September 1st, 2020— In the first half of 2020, global auction sales from the three top auction houses declined 49%, ending up at $2.88 billion, down from $5.47 billion in the first half of 2019, according to ArtTactic’s Auction Review H1 2020. The question is, when will the art market recover? For us at Tresart, a more important question is: Who will survive the crisis?

As secondary-market experts, we strive to research the art market to identify artists we believe have the right combination of winning elements and work to support their careers through acquisitions while sharing our findings with our clients and partners. This month, we want to bring your attention to the work of an artist who has had a steady rising career for over a decade and is currently challenging the market with positive results: Eddie Martinez.

Even during the downturn caused by widespread confinement, during the first half of 2020 art sold in droves, especially works at lower price points and by younger or more off-the-radar artists. Such is the case of Eddie Martinez. As the market adapts to establish a more robust digital presence (online-only auction sales increased 497% in the first half of 2020), all three of the top auction houses offered works by Eddie Martinez. His works were included in their online spring sales, and, across the board, all of his works sold at least above their low estimates and often exceeded them by multiples.

The Brooklyn-based painter’s large, thickly impastoed canvases—filled with a mix of figurative and abstract—have been winning over dealers, collectors, and curators for the better part of two decades. In the last three years, that committed support has expanded into a rapidly accelerating and global market. His current auction record, set last November at Christie’s in Hong Kong, is for the 2014 painting High Flying Bird, a 12-foot-long canvas, emblematic of the artist’s scrawled and colorful style and energetic graffiti-like imagery. The work sold for HK$15.7 million (US$2 million), more than 12 times its high estimate.

Martinez is recognized for his bold lines and handling of color. His gestural blocks of color and strong lines recall the concerns and forms of semi-abstraction, yet they contain distinctive elements and a strong sense of personal iconography. His technique combines oil, enamel, acrylic, and spray paint with marker, pencil and collage (usually on canvas), which creates a variety of textural and color contrasts that are aggressive and full of energy.

Eddie Martinez was born in 1977 in Groton, Connecticut and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Tresart is uniquely positioned to help you identify smart ways to grow your collection. To learn about available works by Eddie Martinez and other established international artists, click here.

Photo: Production still from the Art21 “New York Close Up” film, “Eddie Martinez Whistles While He Works.” © Art21, Inc. 2012.