I don’t remember how I happened upon Martha Rich‘s work, but I am so glad that I did. Her paintings are bizarre and funny, thoughtful, unexpected, mysterious. Everything exists in a world of flat, bright colors, and snippets of conversation. Her work features rebellious talking animals, women with blank expressions or plastic smiles, speech bubbles abandoned and out of context. Rich wrote that she learned early on of “the absurdity of life and to laugh at it,” and that sense of humor comes through loud and clear in her work.
She is both a fine and commercial artist, and has also experimented with low-cost original works, from $20 post-it notes to a series of $100 original paintings. It’s refreshing to see an artist making her work so accessible, and embrace sharing quick, sketchy pieces, in addition to more complex works. She wrote in her artist statement of “insignificant moments that accumulate and become something significant.” The simple moments and one-off jokes in her paintings do just that– collect moments and objects that might otherwise be overlooked and turn them into something worth hanging on the wall.