Martin Wittfooth

Martin Wittfooth
Martin Wittfooth’s paintings draw on both industrial and natural elements, often displaying an intersection and clash of those worlds.

Rusting hulks of buses (school, public and VW) sink into the ground in barren landscapes, and occasionally sprout new growth; disarmingly fish-eyed cats swim in drainage channels with bobbing warheads while silver zeppelins glide over concrete aqueducts; wild dogs prowl at the perimeters of fire-belching furnaces; and a gas pump sits amid tree stumps while WPA mural style trains ride high trestles through the smoke and haze of indistinct industrial forms.

Wittfooth uses almost iconic bits of industrial effluvia, and combines them with sometimes malformed or even composite animals, including odd combinations of birds and squirrels, dogs and frogs, and monkeys and butterflies.

Instead of the more common photo-realist approach many artists might take when exploring this territory, Wittfooth approaches his subjects with an eye to texture, almost impressionistic brushwork and a muscular definition of forms; sort of Magritte meets Pissarro meets Thomas Hart Benton.

He paints both gallery works and illustration, and the pieces displayed in his online gallery are often shown in their elaborate frames.

Wittfooth’s commercial clients include Playboy, Victory Records/Silverstein, O’Brien Wakeboards, Sims Snowboards Ltd & Lamar Snowboards.

The “Shop” and “News” sections of his site (I can’t give you direct links because the site is hampered by frames) mention a new limited edition book of his work, Melting Season, Paintings by Martin Wittfooth. There are also limited edition prints available.

The Canadian born artist studied at Sheridan College in Canada and the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has exhibited at the La Luz Jueus gallery in Los Angeles, The Conference Room gallery in Beverly Hills and Galerie d’art Yves Laroche in Montreal.


10 Replies to “Martin Wittfooth”

  1. Well, I can see the quality in the work. but at the last I think it fails because there is something ineffably cute and trivial about the work. It feels like a man who has mastered the technique but is pushing too hard on the “insight” button.

  2. Thanks for the comment, vanderlun.

    I don’t see it that way, though. It feels more to me like someone who has something to say, but who is still developing their voice. His approach to communication changes from image to image, indicative, I think, of a search for his own mature style.

  3. I like these paintings but I find the frames really distracting,especially since the images are so detailed- some of the frames fight for attention, and I’m not seeing what the point of having them included. Some artists make custom frames that involve the paintings in the design but these don’t seem to do that. (And usually the images are simpler so the frame is more integrated with the art.)

    Besides that the images are fantastic

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