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international painting annual 5 exhibition-in-print
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Martin Arnold
Starkville, Mississippi

East Mississippi Community College, Instructor

detail image


The figure, in all of its expressiveness, is the language that I use to graphically parse our mental, physical and spiritual human facets. The people that I paint embody the idea of a neighbor that lives across the street or perhaps passes us each morning in the hallway. They are of any age, ethnicity and of either gender. They are aware, self-assured and in control of their space.

I invite viewers to intrude on my subject's thoughts and ponder their perspective. I seek to challenge viewers to peer beyond the superficial, ferret out the meaningful and reflexively confront the same questions that I pondered as I stood before my model, brush in hand, "Who is this person?" "What is going through this personís mind?" and "How does he/she perceive me?"

Staging subjects alone, alert and attired indifferently, I deliberately discard all that is non-essential. With little else to ponder, the viewerís attention is left to linger on the stark humanity of the person before them; a soul who seems to both invite and frustrate interpretation and who reciprocates that observerís curiosity and scrutiny. I offer viewers an opportunity to speculate on my subject's mind-set and demeanor as they probe the commonality and simultaneous, utter uniqueness of each of my models. As a figurative artist, my goal is to produce artwork that assumes the role of a psychological mirror, wherein viewers may recognize and examine aspects of their own psyche in its inescapable, unrelenting reflection. In returning my subjectís gaze, I want observers to feel inextricably drawn into a slow, downward-spiraling vortex, to the very core of that individualís personality to a place where one soul may intimately communicate itself to the other.

Conventional portraiture typically concerns itself with what is distinctive about an individual. Through my figurative paintings I attempt to transcend mere portraiture by inquiring beyond what is inimitable about my subjects and alluding to those subtle traits that bind us all, one to another.





born: 1947, Detroit, Michigan



University of Mississippi, MFA, 2012
Mississippi University for Women, BFA, 2009


selected awards/honors

Best of Show, Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition, 2012
Purchase Award, Red Clay Survey Huntsville Museum of Art, 2012
2nd Place Award, Bienniel: Contemporary American Realism, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, 2012
Honorable Mention, First Street Gallery New York, MFA Exhibit, 2011


selected publications

Creative Quarterly, Journal of Art and Design No. 22, 2012


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Close Encounters, University of Mississippi Gallery 130, Oxford, Mississippi, 2012
Encounters, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, 2015
Brief Encounters, University of Mississippi Museum, Oxford, Mississippi, 2015


selected group shows

Mississippi Rising, National Arts Club, New York, New York, 2014
Fresh Paint, Peterson-Cody Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2011
Fifth Annual Masterpieces, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011



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