Martin Machado's paintings portray life on international containerships

K. Imperial Fine Art, Juxtapoz Magazine, March 22, 2018

This April, K. Imperial Fine Art will present its second solo exhibition of the work of Martin MachadoModular Moonlight marks a transition for the artist from several years of drawing back into painting with oil on canvas. Expanding on the narrative of his previous work, Machado offers a more personal approach in this series, portraying life at sea on a modern day international containership.


Painted in a somewhat antiquated post-impressionist style, themes of colonialism, nostalgia, migration, labor, and the sublime of nature, underpin these contemporary maritime scenes of our global economy in motion. The majority of the paintings were in fact recently created at sea, where Martin works as part of the deck crew on containerships; an occupation he has spent large portions of each year laboring in for the past decade and which has brought him to ports around the globe.

Included in the exhibition will be Machado’s photography documenting his life at sea. Shot with either a 4x5 or 35mm camera, these gelatin silver prints contextualize the paintings with a continued narrative. Ranging from shipmates and longshoremen to the sea in all its moods, he gives us a glimpse into the lives behind our marketplace.