To prepare this work, Martin is performing a sort of cannibalistic patricide. But the “meat” in Martin’s sculpture is a little too perfect: the well-grained flesh is a red worthy of an Omaha Steak; the fat, a creamy white; the marrow, an almost gem-like purple. Dozens of steaks, roasts, and organ meats sit in their own shrink-wrapped styrofoam trays waiting in a supermarket-style refrigerator for hungry shoppers to toss into their carts. The way the cuts are arranged, however, might make you halt: it’s a human form lying in an oversized refrigerator. It’s all the 6’6” of the artist’s father’s body anatomically sculpted with nearly 300 pounds of chewing gum.
Father is a display of butcher-style meat cuts. These are individually packaged in plastic-wrapped styrofoam trays, and placed in proximity to their anatomical origin in a custom-built, commercial refrigerator—coincidentally termed a ‘coffin’ by the supermarket equipment industry. During the exhibition period, these pieces that make up Father will be for sale and the sculpture will progressively decrease in size, with the possibility of entirely disappearing.