Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz, "Traveler XXXIII", 2003, C-print on plexiglass Courtesy P.P.O.W., NYC.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz, “Traveler XXXIII”, 2003, C-print on plexiglass Courtesy P.P.O.W., NYC.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz

In this series of photographs, Martin and Munoz subvert the cheerful conventions of the snowglobe with dark ruminations. The typical snowglobe winter wonderlands are supplanted by desolate and sometimes sinister snowscapes. Forests of dead trees are traversed by solitary figures laden with suitcases. The characters seem dressed for a more civilized sort of commute, their business attire ill suited for wading through deep snow and biting cold. It seems as if they were collectively caught off guard by some series of events and forced from their familiar habitat into a harsh and premature exile.

Ultimately it is left to the viewer to speculate about possible narratives. The artists concern was more general. These scenes encased in glass and water each represent an attempt to in some way encapsulate, isolate, and illuminate a certain form of human dread associated with the unexpected and the obvious but often ignored inevitabilities of mortality. In a sense the figures in the globes become stand-ins for us; their nomadic isolation a metaphor for our own sense of unknown origins and unknowable destinations.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz have been working collaboratively for over ten years. Their work is shown and represented by PPOW Gallery in NYC. Additionally they have been in exhibitions at the Galerie Akademia in Salzburg, Austria, the Sean Kelly Gallery in NYC, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Art in General in NYC, Galeria Moriarty in Madrid, the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA, the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. Public installations of their work have been presented at MTA Metro Art, Los Angeles, CA, City Hall Park, NY, and Grand Central Terminal, MTA Arts for Transit, NY. Reviews of have appeared in the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, Aperture, EL Mundo, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and NY Arts. Additionally their work resides in collections at the Walker Art Center for the Arts, the Miami Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, as well as private collections in the US and Europe.