MARTHALICIA’S passion is sparked and sustained by the fundamentals of hip-hop and live painting. However, the depth of her work in texture, mood and content reveals much more. With a family background that includes infinite love and loyalty peppered with alcoholism, homelessness, schizophrenia, limited funds and shelter living, Marthalicia has reached a point in her life where her spirit is grounded in hope, discovery, community, and her siblings. Marthalicia’s paintings speak the language of the soul. Power, individuality and movement infuse each work in a reflection and metaphor of human endurance and the triumph of the spirit. In a way that only artists can articulate she uses paint to express the inexpressible - the sensations and feelings housed within the human body that call out to a larger universe for a voice. This element of expression in her work finds a home in the hip-hop lexicon of imagery that is after all fundamentally about knowledge of self, spontaneity inflected with divine essence and having fun. Her articulation of emotion through a tricked out hip-hop form gives Marthalicia’s deeply powerful work a lightness of being. Whether it is the use of references, colors or inflections each piece translates effortlessly into an urban dialogue. On top of this, traces of surrealism, cubism and even perhaps a 21st century Rufino Tamayo, can be found interspersed in her painterly language. Harlem, USA based Marthalicia, is a self described, “mother, sister, daughter, artist, entrepreneur, community advocate - trained in the martial arts.” If that’s not enough, she was also scheduled to go to Iraq twice as a member of the Army National Guard. Fortunately, her units 1st tour was postponed, she was 3 months pregnant. The second tour was also delayed and her duty was up in 2005. After 10 years in the making, in 2006 Marthalicia and her 2 brothers and 1 sister formed M-Squared Art Productions, a collective grounded in the four elements of hip-hop. M-Squared integrates art and music into the party landscape of New York City with Marthalicia’s specialty being, live painting.
Words by Diana McClure http://marthaliciaart.blogspot.com/