The husband and wife team of Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have been collaborating since 1994. Islands is their latest body of work: a combination of snow globes and panorama photographs currently on view at PPOW gallery in Chelsea.
As one would expect when using the medium of a snow globe the work inside is surrounded by ice and snow. The couple would first build the scene inside the globe using small figures and other materials. Then they bagan photographing the work in small editions.
More recently the couple started building panoramic boxes and creating larger scenes that could be photographed in a larger format. Most involve winter scenes with their latest pieces focusing on island landscapes. A new work Meanwhile futher South abandons the snow theme. Now, after photographing the scenes, Martin and Muñoz use the materials from the boxes to make the globes. Their process has come full circle.
Walter told us about his experience in creating After the Fire. It actually took days to build the houses that appear in the scene. Then with a blow torch he "carefully" scorched them, dropping the houses into a bucket of water to control the effect of the fire.
In all of the works, most of the figures and objects are altered in some way. Limbs are cut off and then glued back together, and most are repainted. Hundreds of photos are taken before just a few are produced. This past summer only two new images made it out of their studio.
Walter and Poloma's work is in many museum collections, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, La Caixa in Barcelona, Spain and the KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Concurrent with the exhibition at PPOW the artists have solo exhibitions at Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art in Vienna, Austria and at Cerealart in Philadelphia, PA.
Availability of Work and Pricing
There are 12 panorama photographs in the show, editions of 6. Depending on the size and the number in the edition, prices range from $10,000 to $16,000. There are 16 globes as well which are $10,000 each. We really enjoy the body of work and the scale of the panoramas. They are all created in a wide format which helps fill a difficult space.