VOLUME II / ISSUE IX / SEPTEMBER 2018
ART REPORT KOBY MARTIN THE RISING STAR Raphael Dapaah | Art Contributor email@example.com
From Amedeo Modigliani and Vincent Van Gogh, to Frida Kahlo and Jean Michel Basquiat - I have long pondered how some of the most iconic artists endured such profound personal trauma, and whether perhaps conversely, it was this deep affinity with pain that inspired their masterpieces. The notion of the tortured artist is far from a new one, in fact, it’s probably as old as art itself. As such, there are several schools of thought on whether an artist can truly even be considered
great if they have never loved and lost, or indeed experienced some form of debilitating vulnerability. Whilst the jury is still out on this age old debate, one artist who is not a stranger to battling with the demons that are loss and suffering takes the view that ‘the best art comes from pain.' Koby Martin, a Ghanaian born artist now based in London, is on a smooth, and fast track to becoming one of the most acclaimed young emerging artists in recent years. His 2017 coming of age solo exhibition, ‘Boy in the Field’ was an emotionally charged display of work that vividly depicted the trauma the artist endured, and eventually overcame, as
an immigrant in the UK under threat of deportation. Having attended the private view of ‘Boy in the Field,' I found myself deeply moved by each of the 10-piece paintings displayed on the white washed walls of the unit 9 Gallery in London’s hip Shoreditch area. Whilst the traumatic experience, masterfully captured by Koby in a mixed media fusion of digital and acrylic on canvas was personal to him, the themes the work addressed were strikingly universal, lending his work greater gravitas and significance. It was therefore of no great surprise to me to learn that the majority of his paintings were spoken for ahead of the closing of the three day exhibition.