Looking at Bernhard Martin’s work, one thing is for sure: it’s difficult to define. He flows easily between painting and drawing, sculpture to installation. It is not only his mediums that are continuously changing; his personal style can become varied. Some works seem complete, others not, some are figurative and others favour abstraction, some are mundane made only with pencil while others dazzle with colour. This constant change creates a loss of coherence.
His work may lack political anxiety, but there is a simmering uneasiness where irony is dominant. In his paintings, Martin distorts his figures where violent scenes have a hidden sexuality. His simple sketches and geometric patterns compared with vivid collages and large psychedelic sculptures create a tight and claustrophobic atmosphere. Martin’s work is not there to pander to some aesthetic gratification; it is there to puzzle us and make us question the arbitrariness of it all.