MARTIN WHATSON

Martin Whatson (b.1984) is a Norwegian street artist best known for his calligraphic scribbles in grayscale voids. Over the past decade, Martin has developed an unmistakable aesthetic combining abstract movement with figurative stencilled compositions. His works can be seen to mirror the rise and fall of the streets, as he symbolically recreates the urban environment, then vandalises it to reveal his vibrant transformations.
Growing up in Oslo Norway, Martin was an active part of the emerging graffiti scene of the early 90’s . The physical architecture of the city was a constant inspiration, the elaboration and destruction of each generation contributing to the urban infrastructure.

In the early 2000s, his interest in layers became more literal with the introduction of stencils into his work. The evolution moved him closer to a simple yet effective aesthetic he believed could bridge the gap between the passion and spontaneity Graffiti held for him, with the fragility and transience of nature. This balance would come to define his creative approach.
With as many works on walls as on canvas and paper, the relationship between vulnerability and strength remains constant in each work. Delicate and organic characters feature; butterflies, ballerinas and animals all rendered in empty grayscale space. Minimal figures are constructed of a few layers of hand-cut stencils. The ashen tones of the compositions and vacant backgrounds are reminiscent of his alternative canvases, the concrete. True to form, no gray space stays gray for long in Martins presence. whether immersing entirely or embellishing a detail, the images disappear beneath expressive, spray-painted strokes of assorted colours and textures.

Martins work features with festivals, projects and walls globally. His original work can be found in private collections and institutions with solo exhibitions featured in cities from Tokyo to LA, London to New York.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2018
The Arctic tour – The Edge Hotel – Tromsø / Norway
The Arctic tour – Galleri Svalbard – Svalbard / Norway

2017
REVIVE – Rex Romae Gallery popup – LA / USA

2016
Affinity (collaboration with SNIK) – Modus Art Gallery – Paris / France

2015
Old News – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
About-Face – Blackbook Gallery – Denver / USA

2014
Hide & Seek – Rex Romae – London / UK
Nationalteateret – Nationalteateret – Oslo / Norway
Square – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway

2013
Transformed – Gallery Kawamatsu – Tokyo / Japan
Undercover – Reed Projects Gallery – Stavanger / Norway
The Beauty of Grey – MSA Gallery – Paris / France

2011
What have i done? – Black Pop Gallery – Copenhagen / Denmark
Love Tour – Gallery Kawamatsu – Tokyo / Japan


SELECTED GROUP SHOWS

2020
Inside Out - KIRK Gallery - Denmark

2018
Northern Exposure – Nordic Museum Seattle – Seattle / USA

2017
Context ArtFair – Blackbook Gallery – Miami / USA
Unstoppable – Urban Nation – Berlin / Germany
Print retrospective – Galleri Bi-Z – Kristiansand / Norway
Fluorish – MESA contemporary art Museum curated by Thinkspace gallery

2015
Context ArtFair – Blackbook Gallery Booth – Miami / USA
HOME – Reed Projects Gallery – Stavanger / Norway
Outsiders In – Reedprojects Gallery – Stavanger / Norway
Your kid can't do this – aMBUSH Gallery – Sydney / Australia
I LOVE Kabul – Graffitiprints – Kabul / Afghanistan
Different Strokes – Hin Bus depot – Penang / Malaysia
2 for 2 – Vertical Gallery – Chicago / USA

2014
Scope Artfair – Blackbook Gallery booth – Miami / USA
ARTmageddon – Vertical Gallery – Chicago / USA
LA Contraband 2 – Riviera 31 – Los Angeles / US
Stencil Bastards 3 – Starkart Exhibitions – Zurich / Switzerland
Different Strokes – Bottleneck Gallery – New York / US
A-Laget utvalg '14 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Scope Artfair – Blackbook Gallery booth – New York / US
Scope Artfair – C.A.V.E. Gallery booth – New York / US

2013
Juleutstilling 2013 – Galleri Bi-Z – Kristiansand / Norway
Buy, Work, Consume, Die – Reedprojects gallery – Stavanger / Norway
A-Laget utvalg '13 - Winter – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Home sweet home – Bottleneck Gallery – New York / US
LA contraband – Los Angeles / US
About time – Galleri GEO – Bergen / Norway
The dirty art – Blankspace – Oslo / Norway
Moniker Artfair – Souled out Studios bunker – London / UK
True Colors – Shop 13 – London / UK
A-Laget - 10 year anniversary – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Bybildet: Redefinert – Oslofjorden Kunstsenter – Drøbak / Norway
Stencil art Norway – Reedprojects Gallery – Stavanger / Norway

2012
A-Laget utvalg '12 - Winter – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
A-Laget utvalg '12 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Match Point – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Street Smart – Bergen Kjøtt – Bergen / Norway

2011
Deflate the hype – Black Pop Gallery – Copenhagen / Denmark
A-Laget utvalg '11 - Winter – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
ULTRA 004 artfair – Gallery Kawamatsu booth – Tokyo / Japan
Young Art – Scandic Vulcan – Oslo / Norway
T&J Artwalk – Blomqvist – Oslo / Norway
A-Laget utvalg '11 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway

2010
Punk's Not Dead – Gallery North Gate – Tokyo / Japan
A-Laget utvalg '10 - Winter – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Mattia Benefit – Naples / Italy
Strike the Street – Rome / Italy
A-Laget utvalg '10 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Totally, Pretty Dirty – Tokyo / Japan

2009
A-Laget utvalg '09 - Winter – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Dreams & Nightmares – Vancover / Canada
A-Laget utvalg '09 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Threesome – Nice / Nice Exhibitions – Hannover / Germany

2008
Merry crunchmas – Opus underground – Manchester / United Kingdom
Inside / Outside – Carmichael Gallery – Los Angeles / US
The end is nigh – End Bar – Newcastle / United Kingdom
A-Laget utvalg '08 - Summer – Galleri-A – Oslo / Norway
Melbourne stencil festival – J-Studios – Melbourne / Australia

2007
Urban art agenda #1 – Shed 4 – Melbourne / Australia

2006
Vinyl killers #6 – The goodfoot – Detroit / USAMartin Whatson