“The prints I make are an attempt to transform the visual media of 20th century popular culture by combining them with appropriated contemporary images and drawing. I frequently visit the ideas from American Vernacular painting: hard times, hard labor, survival, religion, oppressive politics, and isolation. These are timeless human experiences that continuously change but never disappear. I hope the viewer will engage the narrative and the familiarity of style in the pictures, and appreciate an approach that seems to be simultaneously cynical yet optimistic, and humorous yet poignant”.
Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, Martens earned his BFA in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2009. He maintains a busy exhibition schedule across the US, and his prints and artists books are collected in both North and South America. Martens and his wife reside in Wauwatosa Wi, and have three grown children and one granddaughter.