Martine Johanna

I just re-discovered an artist I found a few years ago on BOOOOOOOM (never know quite how many O’s Mr. Hamada has in his website name) and found myself once more mesmerised by her work, especially her new stuff. Martine Johanna is a Dutch contemporary artist with a past in fashion design, and who’s work often features stylised women almost lost in thought. 
painting "Dear Darkness" by Martine Johanna
Dear Darkness 2014
Her latest show “The Grand Illusion of Sanity” deals with her interest in patriarichal predjudice against woman. More specifically prejudice regarding what is considered appropriate, and inappropriate (or in our dear old friend Freud’s terms “hysterical”) behaviour for females. This is something Martine herself has experienced to be very isolating. On her website she states “I seek freedom in my work”, which struck a cord with me. I remember feeling very drawn in to her pieces the first time I stumbled across her work, but having read this I feel I can understand why I feel like this. Her subjects portray this sense of isolation, being lost in thought, which is something I have been subconciously been focused on in my personal work. 
painting "Anticipation" by Martine Johanna
Anticipation 2014
painting "Arsenic Blues" by Martine Johanna
Arsenic Blues 2014 
painting "My Phantom Limbs" by Martine Johanna
My Phantom Limbs 2014
painting "Clouds" by Martine Johanna
Clouds 2014
Not only is her work beautifully well crafted but also very powerful. Now I am no art critic, and am very likely to misinterpret things, but I still find myself absorbed by certain pieces (Dear Darkness and relating them to my own life, like a clear vision of things I have not been able to quite put words to. It takes true talent and reflection to be able to create art that speaks on that kind of level, and I look forward to following Martine’s already successful career. 
illustration "Lolita" by Martine Johanna
Lolita 2013
illustration "Viktor & Rolf" by Martine Johanna
Viktor & Rolf for Prestage Magazine 2012

Martine Johanna at work
Martine at work
Visit Martine’s website here for more information and to view more of her work. You can also follow her instagram @martinejohanna for sneak peeks of her process and upcoming pieces. I love, love, love instagram for exploring the online art world. Try searching hashtags like #wip (stands for work in progress), #illustartion, #sketchbook, #art, #inkdrawing, #digitalart etc. etc. You are bound to find some cool new artists to fill your feed with inspiring pictures that don’t feature your friends cats, holidays and salads. A tip is to look at who your favorite instagram artists follow to find more interesting profiles. Loads of illustrators and artists also host draw alongs or challenges. You then follow the submissions and join in by using that tag. I haven’t done this yet, but I am always tempted to join one the monthly “a drawing a day” tags people post about. (just a quick google for this month found #Inktober and #Drawlloween”) I think it’s a great way to challenge yourself to get better and try new things, all while becoming part of an online community of likeminded, inspiring and supportive people!  

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