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Image:Patrick Martinez, “all american class of 2016,” courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

American Memorial by Patrick Martinez


Hanging through September 10 at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is American Memorial, the first solo exhibition by young Californian artist Patrick Martinez. In this survey of his work thus far, Martinez has created relics that speak to his generation’s political anguish. Those ubiquitous plastic-backed “CHECK CASHING” neons are reconfigured to speak hip-hop lyrics. A series of sheet cake sculptures are adorned not with a smiling grad’s photo in frosting, but with portraits of survivors of street violence. On a 5-foot-tall version of the archetypal Pee-Chee folder, the drawings of idealized high-school athletes are interspersed with scenes of police brutality taken from the headlines. Martinez’s work is infused with the resistance politics of 1970s Chicano art, befitting his Los Angeles …
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