Eddie Martinez - New Now New York Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | Phillips
  • "I started with portraits and landscapes and still lifes… I never really understood the appeal of Pollock’s drip paintings. It’s his earlier work, when he was deep into Picasso—that’s the stuff that moves me." —Eddie Martinez

    This classically composed still life, Yours for the Taking, 2007, is characteristic of Eddie Martinez’s playful yet rigorous painting practice. Drawing inspiration from an array of sources ranging from popular urban culture to Abstract Expressionism, the present work defines Martinez’s ethos: that the accoutrements of both art history and contemporary culture are his for the taking.


    Clara Peters, A Bouquet of Flowers, circa 1612. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Howard S. and Nancy Marks, Friends of European Paintings, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill Gifts, Gift of Humanities Fund Inc., by exchange, Henry and Lucy Moses Fund Inc. Gift, and funds from various donors, 2020

    Martinez turned to painting on his own terms: “I didn’t really know how to make oil paintings,” he recalls, “I guess I just looked at history for it and tried to figure out how I was going to do it. But that’s kind of how everything has really been for me.” His teenage years, like many of his generation, were influenced by street art which later grew into a deeper respect for art history. This confluence spawned his idiosyncratic mixture of styles, combining spray paint, oils, and the occasional textile or loose object in his canvases to create compositions that teem with vivid intensity. His impressionistic renderings of flowers and large-eyed figures catapulted him to success in the late 2000s, and his work is now held in esteemed international collections such as the Morgan Library, New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

    "Martinez’s evolving style is a kind of updated, liberated Neo-Expressionism that looks all over the place for guidance: to Picasso, early Peter Saul, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, de Kooning, and David Hockney."—Roberta Smith

    Martinez also references Cubist plays of perspective, as what looks to be a basket of flowers perched on a stool turns out to be a more diverse collection on closer inspection: through a fray of semi-abstract borders and brushstrokes, a pacifier and other toys become visible; polka dots and a smiley face materialize from the haze. These objects toy with depth and shadow while black and white spray paints blur the picture plane, invoking the frenetic verve and playful ambiguity of contemporary life.

    • Provenance

      ZieherSmith, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007

    • Literature

      Dan Nadel, ed., Eddie Martinez|Chuck Webster, New York, 2008, p. 63 (illustrated, p. 38)


Yours for the Taking

signed with the artist's initials and dated "EM 07" lower left; signed, titled and dated ""Yours for the Taking" Eddie Martinez 2007" on the reverse; further signed and dated "Eddie Martinez 2007" on the stretcher
acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas
60 x 48 1/4 in. (152.4 x 122.6 cm)
Executed in 2007.

Full Cataloguing

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $201,600

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig

Head of New Now Sale

212 940 1279


New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2021