Monthly Archives: September 2011

Zed Martinez: A Man Of Twenty-Eight Years

Well, for all those who’d been participating in the old Grimey pool regarding my death, sorry, I never was particularly good at playing along with things. So here I stand, 28. Damn. These things do so sneak up on you. Meanwhile, in the background, way bigger stuff is moving in the world and in my own extended family. But, let’s face it, birthdays are great days for egotistic introspection, and I’ve been told that no one’s quite so egotistic as me. So, how about one of those list things the internet loves so much? That sounds good, right?

Things I’ve Learned (Maybe)

  1. Life’s too short for cheap beer, cheap tea, cheap coffee, and cheap scotch. Seriously. Enjoy yourself a little. Which reminds me of point two.
  2. Addiction is for chumps. Real men have vices. The difference? Connoisseurship. If you’ll slug back just anything so long as the hurt goes away, that’s addiction. if you’ll wait three days and shop four stores to find just the right fix, that’s vice.
  3. Like point 1, life is also too short for bad friends. This isn’t Pokémon, there’s no prize for having the most friends. Pick a handful of people, love them dearly, keep them close. Plus, you never know when you’ll need someone who trusts you enough to do something like wear pleather hot pants to a gallery. Or conquer Wal-Marts.
  4. A degree proves you can follow rules. Education means knowing how to process and think about the world around you and use previous data and experiences to adapt to new situations without instruction. Wisdom is knowing when to call it all bullshit and go have a drink with friends instead.
  5. Life will never be like it is in books, unless you live it like it is. See point 3, you’re going to need some trustworthy conspirators to let you pull that off. But, there’s a difference between idealism and fancy, and if you can pay all your bills, it ought to be up to you how you live your life otherwise. That much, I feel, is important.

The Making of a Show

So, now that Oranje is over, I can show you all that behind-the-scenes making-of transparency that I’m so fond of around here (they requested we keep the actual experience a surprise for the night of the show, which I approved of.) So, now that it’s over and done for this year, it’s time to catch you up. Ready? Alright, here’s how to build that authentic Zed flavor right into a show:

1. Get Some Art



Maybe, say, twenty prints from your lengthy, long-running photo series, as selected by popular vote by your fans?

2. Plan Ahead


Based on stuff I knew from going to Oranje, and asking friends who had been in, I guessed at a rough size for the booth and got to work planning what equipment I was going to need to make this all happen (estimated 15×20′.)


3. Work On More Art


Maybe, say, 2 giant 2×3′ prints of your two most popular photos. That’ll probably go over well.

4. Find Out The Truth


After the Oranje organization meeting, I knew what my actual space looked like and how big it was (actual measurements 13.5 x 15′):


5. Get To Work


Order and assemble lights. Buy lumber. Work with Dad to lay out the frames for the walls so that reassembly on site will be easier.


6. Put It All Together


Bonus points on this one if you get your friends to help you reassemble the walls, only to discover that you were too ambitious and the walls are too tall to actually exist in your space.

At this point, it might be useful to frantically saw everything down to 8′ walls, with chaos, confusion, and crankiness all ruling the day. However, after that, it should just be a matter of putting everything where the little diagrams said they go, slap on some paint, and oh, I suppose, hang some art.

If you shoot a photo and realize no one can read your signboard because it’s friggin’ dark, maybe shed some light on the subject.


And, that’s about it. How to spend $800 and two months of labor from five people in six easy steps. Repeat annually, with any luck.




Skia Giveaway Winner


I’m tired, so this is a real quickie, but I just wanted to congratulate the winner from last night’s painting giveaway at my booth at Oranje. One @marclebryk will soon be the (presumably proud, happy) owner of Skia, which is one of my favorite smaller works and part of my whimsical monocle series. Congratulations!

To the rest of you, thanks so much for coming out and participating. If you didn’t win this time, don’t let it get you down. I do one or two of these giveaways a year. Why, even right now I’m promising a free 2×4′ all-new painting to one lucky fan if my FB fan page gets to over 100 fans by the end of the month, to celebrate my show at Oranje and my birthday. So, if you want another chance, why not go over to Facebook and make sure you’re a part of making that giveaway happen?

A History Of Doing Shows

Sometimes They Opened Galleries, 2006

We Search For Another, 2010

Oranje 2011

And now I’m off to rouse the crew for a post-show tradition: enormously unhealthy breakfasts slathered in gravy.