Biography of Shantell Martin
Shantell Martin’s characteristic monochrome compositions represent her inquiry into the role of the artist and that of the viewer. Seeing art as inseparable from its maker and its audience, Shantell Martin seeks with her work to create connections between education, design, philosophy and technology. Her methodical and interdisciplinary practice of bringing her audience and her surroundings into her drawings echo her fascination with ever-changing time and space.
Born and raised in London, Shantell Martin then went on to attend both Camberwell College of Arts and Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, graduating from the latter with honors in 2003. Following her studies the young artist dropped everything in London, and relocated to Tokyo where she would concentrate on experimenting with performance art. Through this experimentation, she perfected the use of “Liveography”, a process of projecting live drawings to sound or music, and was quick to gain a reputation and fanbase.
In 2009, Shantell Martin moved to New York where she is still based today. Since this time she has continued to champion the art of physical drawing, also incorporating media such as textiles, ceramics and embroidery. She has made a name for herself, adorning with her drawings everything from people, to buildings, to airplanes to clothing and trainers. Shantell Martin’s iconic black and white illustrations and type are executed in a stream of consciousness style, and represent the artists’ musings on themes such as transparency, identity and experience.
Since moving to New York Shantell Martin has undertaken a commendable number of commercial projects, and has collaborated with fashion brands of the likes of Tiffany & Co, Max Mara and PUMA. In line with her fascination with technology, she recently took on a project with the Google Creative Lab, which explored the new augmented reality app created with Google’s ARCore Technology.
Shantell Martin has worked with institutions such as the MIT Media Lab, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to inquire into new models and technologies that transform the way art is both made and consumed. Her work has appeared at the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in New York, and the BATA Shoe Museum in Toronto. In 2016, Shantell Martin took part in Art Basel Miami, where she collaborated with the high-profile rapper Kendrick Lamar in a performance art piece.