Martin Machado "Bodies Politic" at Cordesa Fine Art

Cordesa Fine Art, Juxtapoz Magazine, April 17, 2017

Martin Machado's Bodies Politic at Cordesa Fine Art is a selection of meticulous ink drawings, photography, and large scale sculptures created from a much traveled shipping container. Martin Machado spends at least a quarter of his year at sea working both as a merchant marine and commercial fisherman.


Machado uses photography to document his experience working as a merchant marine on international container ships. These photographs serve as a platform from which Machado ventures further through ink on paper and sculptural works; exploring concepts of colonialism, national identity, exoticism, time, and environmentalism. The thread throughout this body of work is the sea; connecting us all to our past and possible future.


In describing the role of labor in his art Machado states: “We trade portions of our life in exchange for sustenance while doing the bidding of our employers. In today’s global market, pinpointing who that employer is however has become increasingly difficult. In no field is the case murkier than the maritime trade industry wherein flags of convenience, multi-national conglomerates, and government-subsidized shipping have blurred the lines of its sailor’s identities.”