Voice of the Streets - Marleen Martinez

This gallery contains street art that focuses on sociopolitical statements made by the artists. All work was created within the last 5 years with an emphasis on spacial perspective - the play with 3D and 4D in particular. The art can be seen on the walls of buildings, both outside and inside of abandoned ones. In this collection the man figure is always a human being.

This piece shows a young boy staring out at the audience from a wall with an accusatory stare. The use of lines and shading help this depiction to seem as if he’s emerging from the wall, a forgotten and overlooked figure demanding attention. The bold colors highlight his features and draw the viewers gaze over the facial features, with a focus on the eyes and the lips. His mouth is closed but the look on his face makes it clear it’s not from a lack of things to say.
Titled no reason to be scared, this depicts a young girl, appearing to be shirtless and with a tattoo on her shoulder. Her eyes look out at the viewer, large and haunted and her whole body is dirty - if not bruised. The two pig tails held up with traditional little girl bands speak to her innocence and vulnerability, as does her hunched down pose. The words written behind her say “no reason to be scared” are jarring next to what is clearly a scared child. The artist utilized the wall to give this painting texture and depth. The little girl urges you to reach out and make that statement true, as she practically pops out of the wall.
Drawn inside an abandoned building, Home Less features the face of a screaming man as he stares manically out at the viewer. Drawn among rubble and using and over windows, so the when it opens it looks like he is screaming from the pain, this painting is striking. Stepping into the room without expectation, the viewer may well be startled to see this man, as he looks very true to life, even in black and white. The artist use of light and shadow and the texture of the wall and windows helps to give this man dimension. It is clear you’ve stepped into his ‘home’ and are invading his territory - trash and all.
The face of a horned man, whose ears and the back of his head stretch and twist grotesquely, looks as if he’s a demon about to flight out of the wall and across your path. It’s an arresting image, but the accompanying quote about a person using shoplifting as a way to forget his every day anxieties, gives context to this piece. A social commentary on man letting his inner demons push him into poor decisions, the artist uses the colors of the existing brick wall as the perfect backdrop for his man to emerge from.
Stencil Man shows a boy straddling some kind of fence, wings over his shoulders. Even though his face is scratched and ill defined, this drawing still holds a 3D element as the boys body feels as if it’s sitting on a natural fence in the wall. The texture of the wings makes them look like they’d be soft to the touch. The obscured face gives much to think about, especially among the amount of detail on the rest of the body. This speaks to the faceless many that are lost every day.
Little Red Riding Hood carrying a machine gun, this drawing gains a 4D effect by being placed on the wall behind a barred door. If glanced at quickly, she looks like a little girl hiding behind the door. Upon further examination, you see that she could be hiding from the wolf with her gun, or she could be behind bars, or, with the door closed, she’s just trying to get to grandmother’s house without issue. Any way you see it, the message of loss of innocence is clear.
A man with a TV on his head, and looking through the screen out at the viewer with the words Brain and Wash on either side of the TV, this mural uses rounded lines and the contrast between bold blue and reds against a muted gray to make the image pop. There’s something that is simultaneously flat and 3D of this image, a contradictory effect that works wonders. This could be about the TV brain washing the man, or the man using the TV to brain wash the audience. Either way it’s a powerful image.
You Go Girl is a mural of a woman’s profile with words written all over her, the most prominent over her chest. This seems an affirming message sent to minority women, african american specifically. She seems to be watching over the neighborhood and although she’s in black in white, because the wall is red, she pops right off of it. The lines and angles make her seem like she’s just leaning there against the wall, realistic and strong.
Dame shows a man and a woman, each holding children that seem to be dead. There are hands reaching in to help or to remove the child from the woman, it isn’t clear, and behind her there are another at least two pairs of hands holding her up. There is a gun across her child’s chest, making it clear that the deaths were violent nature, and the look on the man is that of grief. The artist used angles and natural rounded lines to create the feeling that the viewer was a part of that seen, watching these grieving parents.
This painting is powerful in it’s minimalism. Here we have a man, hiding under the stairway and keeping his hands over his mouth to remain quiet. All we see is half his face and his hands against his mouth. Above, on the stair way, is what looks like some kind of tape (police tape?) cordoning off the area. The hall way is dirty and abandoned. This speaks of the silence that happens after crimes, the fear of ‘snitching’.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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