Martin Wannam

Martin Wannam

  • Artist’s Statement

    I manipulate, invert and unsettle subjects and objects historically considered precious to disrupt the meaning of religion, folklore, and western beauty standards through a queer lens. Using photography, sculpture, and performance, I challenge both my cultural background and my gender identity, which, in their own ways, make my existence and my movements in the world a political act. I utilize and manipulate materials such as candle wax, liquid foam, flags, glitter, paint, and concrete blocks to construct—and interrupt—my own narratives, based as they are on ideals imposed by state, religion, and society. I use and repurpose these materials, much as I do Christian/ patriotic iconography and its symbolism, as tools to critique and destabilize the patriarchal, heteronormative system that has structured my life primarily through the imposition of a strict and suffocating religious dogma. I’m interested in disrupting, demanding, deconstructing, and creating visibility for bodies that lie outside the norm and have been rendered invisible or hidden. I want to question and explore the full potential of how a queer, brownbody “should” be or act in a society shaped by homophobic, heteronormative, colonial ideologies. My research is rooted particularly in violent attacks on the queer bodies and impunity in Central America. Concentrating my practice to react to the sociopolitical system, I create my own constructed images and objects based in and influenced by signs, symbols, gestures, objects, and imagery encountered during my daily life in my home country of Guatemala. I play with and manipulate these influences in ostensibly disrespectful ways, in order to create discomfort to the viewer, while still upholding meaning but corrupting its power to these objects responsible for discrimination. In my studio practice I act upon objects by breaking, burning, cutting, or spray-painting surfaces to communicate queer experiences, with no intention to respect these “concepts” but rather to reverse the roles, to bring a sense of political disturbance.  I use language, color and materials to my advantage as tools to confuse and reclaim words and experiences that have been historically part of my country’s hate speech for a long time. I protest how the queer community in Guatemala, and throughout all Latin America, still faces significant discrimination and segregation. The community is constantly challenging the idea that it represents a failure to reflect a cultural ideal, which leads the community to challenge spaces, people, and the government whose actions and laws constantly remind its members that they fail to reproduce an ideal (their ideal). I look to create my own space and to cultivate my voice via artistic political resistance by refusing to follow or perpetuate a “Westernized,” heteronormative, racist, classism culture.

    For more information, please contact info@ellsworthgallery.com

  • Biography

    Martin Wannam (b. 1992, Guatemala) is and artist whose work utilizes photography, performance, and sculpture to disrupt the meaning of religion, folklore, and western beauty standards. Through the critical lenses of gender, sexuality, and race he challenges his own cultural background and deconstructs and disrupts the hegemony of religion as his own gesture of political resistance.

    He received his MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico in Spring of 2020, a diploma in contemporary photography from La Fototeca (GT) in 2016, and their BA in graphic design from the Universidad Rafael Landivar (GT)in 2015. Wannam has exhibited nationally and internationally, including various group and solo shows in the United States, Guatemala, Rotterdam and Paris. Wannam is the recipient of a Fulcrum Fund 516 Arts (2020), MaryAnn Evans Grant (2019), SPE Student Award for Innovations in Imaging (2018) and is a SITE Scholar (2018-2019).

  • Awards

    • Fulcrum Fund 516 ARTS, 2020
    • Coke Newhall Photo Fellowship, 2020
    • CFA Dean's Student Travel Grant, 2020
    • Site Scholar 2018-2019, Site Santa Fe

    For more information, please contact info@ellsworthgallery.com

  • Exhibitions

    • La Eterna Resistencia I CFA Downtown Studio I Albuquerque, NM I 2020
    • They I Ellsworth Gallery I Santa Fe, NM I 2020
    • Somos Distintes I Vitrine I Albuquerque, NM I 2019

    Group Exhibitions:
    • Windows of the Future I 516 ARTS I Albuquerque, NM I 2020
    • EXPO DIVERSA I Saberico Zona 4 I Guatemala City, Guatemala I 2020
    • IDENTITY AS MATERIAL, MATERIAL AS IDENTITY I curated by Jeffreen Hayes I UNM Art Museum I Albuquerque, NM I 2020

    For more information, please contact info@ellsworthgallery.com

Showing 1–12 of 23 artworks

  • Martin Wannam

    Something Smells Fishy
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Sex, Pink and Selfie
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Social Media Followers
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Fake, Glam and Glitter
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Millenial Jesus
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Half Blood Millenial
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    The Real Virgin
    10 x 14.5 in Inkjet Print $700
  • Martin Wannam

    Santuario
    12 x 18 in Inkjet Print $900
  • Martin Wannam

    Baby Glitter
    12 x 18 in Inkjet Print $900
  • Martin Wannam

    Elizabeth, Carretera antigua a Zacatecoluca. 21 de Febrero del 2018, El Salvador.
    12 x 18 in Inkjet Print $900
  • Martin Wannam

    Paulina Marrot, zona 1 Centro. 15 de Febrero del 2006, Guatemala.
    12 x 18 in Inkjet Print $900
  • Martin Wannam

    God Joce
    24 x 36 in Inkjet Print $1,800