Emerging visual artists and life partners, Al-Baseer Holly and Cristina Martinez, are showcasing new paintings at The East Angel in Los Angeles, California. Titled “2 Sides to Every Story,” the presentation features vivid figurations and portraits alongside abstract imagery that evoke the artists’ experiences of growing up in a Black and Brown community. All of the pieces were made by the pair in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide civil unrest.
“I want to show the world the many different emotions and phases we go through in our life with my ‘many face god’ paintings that I’ll be showing at 2 Sides to Every Story,” said Al-Baseer Holly, “hoping others see themselves in my work.” Cristina Martinez added, “Living and working in the forced stillness during the pandemic, we simultaneously felt an intense urgency to make change and tell stories through our paintings. It was a chance to make space for contemplation and growth, to explore our many faces in the midst of global chaos and massive transformation. My work reflects on that never-ending cycle of wilting, blooming, and growing as experienced in the Black and Brown communities.”
Holly began his career as a recording artist working alongside Pharrell WIlliams and other key figures in the industry. The artist has also spearheaded collaborations with fashion luminaries including Tommy Hilfiger. His work has been shown most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland and the Bruce Lurie Gallery in LA. For Tacoma-born Martinez, her work celebrates her Black and Mexican heritage. Her social media following has garnered her connections with corporate sponsors including Vaseline and Nike as well as singers Ciara, H.E.R., and Jojo. Last spring, Martinez painted a mural on the 79th floor of the World Trade Center in New York City entitled The Roots which represents female empowerment and diversity.
View select works from “2 Sides to Every Story” in the slideshow above. The exhibition is on view until November 14.
The East Angel
670 S. Anderson
Los Angeles, California