DANI MARTI will be exhibiting his work at the Newcastle Art Gallery from 17 September – 13 November, 2011.

"The notion of portraiture gets redefined in TOUCH The portraiture of Dani Marti, the first major survey of artist Dani Marti - to be opened by Louise Doyle, Director of the National Portrait Gallery at Newcastle Art Gallery.

Marti’s work explores the idea of the ‘impossibility of portraiture’. Can a portrait ever really capture the truth about a person?  Marti attempts to investigate this question through multiple means: video and large scale woven wall panels and sculptural pieces, each technique an attempt to capture something meaningful and essential about the subject.

Marti’s practice is also driven by what he calls his “obsession of trying to get close to someone.” It is an obsession that sees Marti reaching out to family and friends to be subjects, as well as strangers who live outside the mainstream that he meets on the internet. These encounters provide the catalyst for Marti’s ‘portraiture’

In the Internet age, identity is easily masked. It is a way of communicating but not connecting, it is a way to feel part of a community and yet remain isolated. Marti’s works reach through these carefully constructed identities and the new dynamics of digital relationships.

The connections made in these meetings and videoed are always intimate and at times Marti uses his sexuality to get even closer to his subject. From the initial engagement, and with the subjects consent, the camera is always rolling, becoming a part of the relationship, absorbing everything that takes place within its field of view.

While video is an important aspect of his work, Marti is perhaps best known for his large scale sculptural weavings, which utilise traditional Spanish techniques and carefully selected materials – often rope, wire, beads, leather, latex – to build a portrait that is more a textural memory of the person. 

These very physical and vibrant works offer a counterpoint to the video portraits, and another dimension to how Marti can render his subject. His work is held in private and public collections in Australia and internationally, and has been included in significant art exhibitions around the world. This exhibition, the first survey of Marti’s work in Australia, includes two major from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection - and Looking for Felix 2000 and George 2001 and brings together nineteen video and weaving works from across Marti’s eleven year career."

Don't miss the opportunity to hear Dani Marti speak about his work on 14 October, 6pm.  

For more information click here.