Wednesday, January 22, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Martin Beck

Martin Beck is an American painter.
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Martin Beck
This artist is not afraid to paint at the top of his lungs. Beck's handling of pigment is professional, but everywhere subordinated to the themes he's painting. Its chalky flatness works almost as if he's stressing the fact that his painting is no Frenchified thing, but real American art.
Beck quotes
Mr. Beck says he once heard a visitor to one of his shows characterize the work as ‘Norman Rockwell gone bad.’ That sums up his territory: Mr. Beck seems determined to take America's pulse at the end of the century, and it races. Mr. Beck's sturdily built characters tend to smile a lot, but it's obvious that the smiles mask anxieties.
Beck's complex figure compositions bring baroque spatial dynamics into the back yards of America. His individuals are either unhappily sexualized or awkwardly self aware, or both. They strain under the demands of pleasure, always terrified that they will reveal some forbidden part of their private psyches.

Beck Martin quotes
The elegant simplifications of the human form, picked out with Beck's layered color, is reminiscent of the 19th-century Munich school, a style conceived to ennoble the human form and the very atmosphere it walks through. Beck crosses this up with his ugly folks and perverse demi-narratives. It is just the unpredictability of beauty and disgust mixing that arrests the viewer -- and sometimes makes him or her mad as a wet hen.
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