Shantell Martin


The work of artist Shantell Martin is a meditation of lines — a language of characters, creatures, and messages that invites her viewers to share in her creative process.

Part autobiographical and part dreamlike whimsy, Martin has created her own world that bridges fine art, performance art, technology and the everyday experience: conversations, objects and places.

Underlying Martin’s work is a quest for identity — her own, discovered and refined in the development of her characteristic style, and that of the viewer, engaged by Martin’s direct questioning and further explored in her winding lines. Her artwork has appeared in the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora, Bata Show Museum and a number of private galleries.

Martin’s diverse portfolio illustrates her gift of navigating many worlds. From early beginnings with live performance drawing in the mega clubs of Tokyo, Martin made her way to New York where she pushed the limits of her trademark continuous line.

Her drawings have transformed everything from walls, found objects, and sneakers, to cars and circuit boards. In 2015, she became an artist in residence at the MIT Media Lab where she explored cross-disciplinary ways to express her art form, such as using drawing to visualize data.

She is a former Adjunct Professor and Artist in Residence at NYU’s ITP (Tisch School of the Arts) where she taught her students to integrate drawing with technology, using cameras, music, and code. She is also a former fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University.

Martin was born in London and attended Central St. Martin’s University.

Videos Related to Shantell Martin

1 Minute 1 Work: The Sake-drinking Boy

1 Minute 1 Work: The Sake-drinking Boy 01:16 mins
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Shantell Martin shares her admiration for Hishikawa Moronobu’s inspiring use of line.