Vibrancy in Found Objects: Victoria Martinez’s ‘Wizard Can’ Exhibit

Orange fibers, floral prints in shades of pink, scalloped edges in creamy yellow and teal swirls of paint color the energy of Victoria Martinez’s exhibit “Wizard Can.” The Dittmar Gallery exhibit features sculpture, installation, and screen print to revisualize “overlooked materials,” according to Martinez’s artist statement, reflecting “culturally vibrant locations and gritty abandoned spaces.”

Pink and yellow stitching brings together manufactured textures in the sculpture “R,” which overlaps bubble wrap, patterned cloth, florals, and sequins. Stitching is present throughout Martinez’s work in the exhibit, tying together elements of her mixed media pieces.

While perusing the exhibit, viewers can not only appreciate the energy and beauty of her work, but also enjoy imagining each medium’s original purpose. With the materials she discovers and repurposes, Martinez explains in her website statement: “There is ‘mystery’ in all of these things; I will never know or entirely understand the history behind the commodities that I find as I explore in dusty warehouses or leaf through texts from aged journals. This process is fascinating to me.”

Victoria Martinez, who grew up in Chicago’s Pilsen community, will discuss her work in an Artist Talk at Dittmar Gallery from 6:00–7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28. The exhibit, taking place in the Norris University Center, closes April 30. The event and exhibit is free and open to the public.