Press Release - "Dark Was The Night" by Christoper Martin
First Amendment Gallery
Dark Was The Night
First Amendment Gallery is excited to announce a solo exhibition of textile works by San Francisco-based multidisciplinary artist Christopher Martin, titled Dark Was The Night. In this show, Martin has contemplated the long and diverse history of tattooing, including its roots in native North American culture as well as its reintroduction to the United States in the mid 20th century. Although tattoos were prominent in native cultures that have existed in present-day California for generations, the art form didn’t achieve explosive popularity until the end of World War II, when thousands of sailors returned to San Francisco with tattoos they received while stationed in the South Pacific.
Martin created this body of work during his residency at the Museum of African Diaspora’s dedicated studio space in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Throughout the show, Martin draws parallels in the history of tattooing and the colonial history of African Americans via the Transatlantic Slave Trade. By recreating classic tattoo imagery on cotton, he reclaims the material from its own colonial past and ties to slavery in an effort to bring both the narrative of tattooing and his own personal narrative into conversation.
Dark Was The Night a solo exhibition by Christopher Martin will be on view through Friday, November 9th at First Amendment Gallery located at 1000 Howard St. in Downtown San Francisco. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11-6pm. To receive a preview of the exhibition contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Martin is a southern-raised artist from North Carolina and is currently based in San Francisco.
Through his work, Martin tells the story of a young man coming from the South. While attending school at North Carolina A&T for Graphic Design, Martin created hand cut and sewn banners with logo-like images to tell a story relevant to his own culture and history. With cotton representing the toil and labor of those captured in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Martin hand-cuts and sews tapestry pieces to represent the modern-day experience of the African diaspora.
His work continues in this medium while also working as a freelance graphic designer, electric tattoo artist, photographer, videographer, and teacher, teaching art classes and workshops throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.