The installation will feature large soft sculptures, employing boldly expressive lettering with stark, blunt immediacy that challenges the weight of our world with naked solidarity. The language is pulled from hip hop and blues music, books, documentaries, and everyday conversations that are gritty and unapologetic. Also on view are hand-cut and sewn monumental tapestry banners in contrasted black and white images that tell a surreal story of religion, captivity, and freedom; referencing traditional American and sailor tattoos. The history and superstition embedded in archetypical nautical motifs such as anchors, mermaids and animals are re-coded to reflect the history and stories of the African American experience. The reclamation of cotton as a primary medium, applied in the large-scale fiber works, reflect the Atlantic slave trade and the artist’s North Carolina roots.
In addition, ICA SF partnered with Martin to produce a limited edition merch line of hoodies, embroidered hats, tote bags, and stickers that are available in person during open hours of Meantime programs.