Skip to content

Feature in HOME & DESIGN

2015 March 25
by Sebastian
Carved in Stone by Tina Coplan

Carved in Stone
by Tina Coplan

An article about my work, by Tina Coplan, published in the March/April 2015 issue of HOME & DESIGN magazine.

 

hdseeusicon

 

Glove: Engineer

2015 February 15
Comments Off
Glove: Engineer, Carrara, 5 x 7.5 x 11 in, Private Collection

Glove: Engineer, Carrara, 5 x 7.5 x 11 in, Private Collection

 

 

Finally some killer photos by Geoff Graham of the second glove in the series focusing on some of the hand-wear I’ve accumulated. This  railroad “engineer” style glove reminds me of the type of gloves my grandfather wore. His family immigrated to the States and worked on the railroads in Upstate NY.

The leather around the fingertips and palm is thick and coarse, while the upper cuff and back of the hand is thinner cotton, to allow for cooling in a hot environment.

Initially I thoughthat I would focus on the actual colored striped patter on the cotton, however I decided that (as ever) texture trumps color–and so I decided to try to illustrate the fine herring bone texture of the material. It was pretty painstaking, but I’m glad I went for it. It was certainly easier work than shoveling coal…

RADICAL INTENT, Gallery 151, NYC, Feb 2015

2015 January 21
Comments Off
by Sebastian

 

OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, FEB 5TH 6-9PM | 132 WEST 18TH ST, NYC | GALLERY151.COM

RadicalIntentDownload radicalintent_flier.

3 Makers, UNC Asheville, March 2015

2015 January 20
Comments Off
by Sebastian

MarioThis guy, his buddy, Kermit the Frog, and some other former-Baltimore-stair-steps will be headed to the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery at UNC Asheville for the show “3 Makers,” with Jackson Martin & Stacy Lee Webber.

Opening reception, Thursday, March 5 th, 6-8pm, preceded by my artist talk at 5pm in the Humanities Lecture Hall.

HAND/MADE, Decker Gallery, MICA, Feb 2015

2015 January 15
Comments Off
by Sebastian

HAND/MADE

 

HAND/MADE

Opening Reception Friday, February 6th, 5-8pm

MICA’s Decker Gallery, Fox Building, 1301 W Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21217

 

Sebastian’s recent work, Icon: Sam the Eagle, will be on display with the tools and models used for it’s creation.

MICA’s Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) students present HAND / MADE, an art show juxtaposing an original 19th-century marble sculpture by artist and former MICA student William Henry Rinehart with 3-D, performance and video works by contemporary sculptors and interdisciplinary artists. Exhibited in MICA’s Fox Building: Decker Gallery (1303 W. Mount Royal Ave.) from Friday, Jan. 30-Sunday, March 15HAND / MADE makes vital connections between traditional methods employed by artists working with 19th-century studio artisan teams and collaborative practices in contemporary studios. A reception will take place Friday, Feb. 6, 5-8 p.m.

HAND / MADE explores how sculptures are seldom the result of a simple transaction between a single artist, an idea and a given medium,” said EDS co-curator and class spokesperson Adenike Adelekan ’15 (art history, theory, and criticism). “The methods and practices that are sometimes used when creating a sculpture can involve multiple people beyond the artist. This can cause tension regarding the complex issue of authorship. Our exhibition aims to investigate this on-going discussion.”

The EDS class will show work from six contemporary artists, all with ties to MICA, of which five have been commissioned for new work. Fiber faculty member Annet Couwenberg,Nancy Daly ’11 (Photographic & Electronic Media), Director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture Maren HassingerRichard Vosseller ’95 (general fine arts) and Megan Van Wagoner ’00 (Mount Royal School of Art) are creating works that respond to Rinehart’s most reproduced sculpture, Sleeping Children. Each artist has been asked to reflect on the relationship between individual creative expression and artistic collaboration-and what it means when others’ labor is required to realize an artwork. MICA’s own Sleeping Childrenwill be displayed alongside the commissioned pieces, allowing the audience to draw connections from the past to the present. Also on display will be contemporary marble work by Sebastian Martorana ’08 (Rinehart School of Sculpture), with his tools and maquettes (or scale models) to help viewers visualize the traditional carving process.

 

 

Some Social Media

2014 December 8
Comments Off
by Sebastian

With the incredibly generous help of my wife I recently started an Instagram account in addition to the existing Facebook Page. To be honest, these stay far more current than the website, simply because they operate right out of my iPhone– which lives in my pocket–in my studio.    Ya know– just like Michaelangelo and Bernini . . .  right?

20141208_SocialMediaIcons_Facebook 20141208_SocialMediaIcons_Instagram

A New Icon: Sam

2014 December 4
Comments Off

I was recently asked by pair of supportive collectors to revisit a series I began a few years ago. The latest in the Icon Series is based on, American Icon and Muppet, Sam the Eagle.

Sam occupies a unique place in the wacky crowd that is the Muppets. He stands in as the ironic voice of conservatism and reason against the backdrop of frenetic chaos. Some of my first memories of the Muppets involve Sam as a disgruntled participant  in the Tit Willow song, deadpanning the part of the Dicky Bird– I had it on vinyl for my Fisher Price turntable.

I feel that Sam was kind of the vehicle for the writers to speak slyly against censors and non-progressives in a way that was smart, funny, wry satire before The Daily Show  and, ultimately, The Colbert Report perfected it. In a double-headed manner Sam expounds the necessity of “the noble eagle, the good old values, the wisdom of the Founding Fathers” in a way that is don now by certain political groups– albeit with out the irony.  Throughout Sam’s tenure as a kind of disapproving-uncle-figure he avoided ever becoming a villain (more recently playing the role of a hero in the latest Muppet movie). So I chose to depict him in the style of Emperor Hadrian, one of the more benevolent (relatively speaking), if not initially bumbling, rulers of the Roman Empire.

Sam actually appeared for the first time in 1975 in the second Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, the series’ second pilot. Note: in the background, often over Sam’s right shoulder, there is a marble bust that is conspicuously attired with random bits of costuming each time it appears in the shot– hah!  Classic!

Time for some Professional Photography

2014 December 2
Comments Off
by Sebastian

So, I decided that while I may be an artist, I am definitely no photographer. I’ve been flat out trying to get some pieces completed for looming delivery dates– it was time to bring in a pro. So I was really stoked to get Geoff Graham to come down to my studio to photo document the latest and a few older pieces too. See below. If you are in need of some really high quality photos, I strongly recommend! http://phinium.com/

Strange Bedfellows – Show Opening

2014 October 9
Comments Off
by Sebastian

Strange Bedfellows Web Image

October 17 – November 23, 2014

Strange Bedfellows Curated by Blair Murphy

OPENING RECEPTION

Friday, October 17, 2014, 7-9pm

LOCATION

Kaplan Gallery, 2nd floor,VisArts at Rockville 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD 20850

 

 

 

 

A group exhibition about intimacy, Strange Bedfellows explores the way proximity to others–whether physical, emotional, or intellectual–shapes our individual identities, civic life, technological development, and physical spaces.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Ingrid Burrington (Brooklyn, NY), Bean Gilsdorf (San Francisco, CA), Katie Hargrave (Chattanooga, TN), Leslie Holt (Hyattsville, MD), Benjamin Kelley (Baltimore, MD), Jennifer Levonian (Philadelphia, PA), A. Moon (Silver Spring, MD), Sebastian Martorana (Baltimore, MD), Dustin Nelson (Astoria, NY), Jacob Rhodes (Brooklyn, NY), Stephanie Williams (Alexandria, VA), Jenny Walton (Washington, DC).

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The word intimacy refers most often to human relationships, acting as a metric of the physical closeness, emotional bonds, or personal knowledge shared by two people. It can describe the accumulation of knowledge about complex topics or–as in the phrase intimately aware–a familiarity with difficult truths. While intimacy is often reciprocal, it’s not unusual to be bound tightly to objects, people, or knowledge we would prefer to avoid or forget.

Highlighting artists whose work touches on intimacy in complex and unexpected ways, Strange Bedfellows will explore the way proximity to others–whether physical, emotional or intellectual—shapes our individual identities, civic life, technological development, and physical spaces.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

 

Blair Murphy is a curator, writer, and cultural worker based in New York City and a 2014-2015 Helena Rubenstein Curatorial Fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program. Before moving to New York, she spent seven years in Washington, DC working as an administrative jack-of-all-trades for various arts organizations, including Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), DC Arts Center (DCAC), and Provisions Library. She was Program Director at WPA from 2011 to 2013 and a curator with Sparkplug, an artist collective sponsored by DCAC, from 2008 through 2011. As a member of the collective BFAMFAPhD she collaborates with other concerned cultural workers to examine the impact of debt and precarity on the lives of creative people. She holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MA from Georgetown University.

Bases for Ray Lewis and Johnny U at M&T Bank Stadium

2014 September 4
Comments Off
mandt_bank_bases_09

Applying gold leaf to the granite lettering

Just unveiled in front of the Raven’s M & T Bank Stadium– the base for the new Ray Lewis Statue and the Moved Johnny Unitas statues, by sculptor Fred Kail, were fabricated and installed by Hilgartner Natural Stone Company. I was in charge of the bling. Try not to be blinded by the 23 karat gilded lettering while you drive by the stadium.