Fidencio Martinez was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, but raised in the U.S after his family migrated. His current work examines the debate over 'borders', 'edges', and the people that must traverse through them. In his work, Martinez manipulates paper, surfaces and maps to refer to the crafts and customs taught to him as a toddler in Oaxaca -- ones used to celebrate festivals and mourn the dead. For Martinez these techniques are a way to reconnect with a time and place no longer present.
Martinez received an Ma & MFA from the University of Iowa in 2015 and a BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2013. Recent group exhibitions have occurred at Smithsonian's PopUp Gallery, MD; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Dubuque Museum of Art, IA; International Print Center New York, NY and the Chicago Artist Coalition, IL. Recent solo exhibition were held in Chicago, Iowa, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Maryland. Martinez is now based out of Chicago.
Pat Palermo is a painter as well as the writer/illustrator of an ongoing serialized graphic novel (LIVE/WORK) which debuted its first issue in 2011. He often uses humor and narrative media as a means to engage and satirize the absurdities of the business of meaning-production in the contemporary art world, and in society at large.
He received a BFA from Ohio State University in 2001 and an MFA in Painting/Drawing from Bard College in 2005. In 2010, he co-founded SOLOWAY, an artist-run gallery and performance space in Brooklyn NY. He was awarded the Xeric Grant for self-publishing comics artists in 2006 and his comic book LIVE/WORK was featured on The Best American Comics Anthology’s list of Notable Books of 2012. His work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Calgary, London, Paris, Geneva and Milan.
Leonardo Benzant’s work includes painting, performance, sculpture, sound and installation, and is driven by his connection to the trans African-Atlantic diaspora. He recognizes both his ties and disjunction from an ancestral past by considering the possibilities of genetic imprints, cultural identification, innate and intuitive beliefs and a conscious seeking of links that reveal continuities that are hidden or largely unsuspected by the mainstream. He imagines himself as an Urban Shaman, exploring both the familiar visible world and the hidden dimensions of other realms that lurk beneath the surface of daily life. The sense of personal cosmology in Benzant’s practice grows from both experiencing and observing the details of everyday life and ritual. Artworks emerge out of the crossroads of life, history, memory and imagination – a place between that suggests multiple layers of meaning. Inspiration is derived, in part, from the various modes of communication encountered in African-derived rituals.
Leonardo Benzant grew up in Brooklyn, NY and is currently based out of Queens, NY. He has studied at the Pratt Institute, NY and Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY. He has exhibited widely in galleries and institutions throughout NYC, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Charlotte, NC. He has been written about in various publications, including ARTSlant, and Africanah.Org, and is in numerous private collections in NY, CA, DC and the Dominican Republic.