From September 28,2023 to October 12, 2023

Galerie Tanit, Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

Móyòsóré Martins, 2023, Artist Studio, Bronx, NY, Photographed by Daniella Liguori © 2023

«He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior» says an old wisdom by Confucius. In that sense, the journey that is most enriching is the one that delves into the self, and the greatest art is often the product of an inner battle. Cezanne, Picasso, and Basquiat are amongst great painters whose magnificent art was the product of a «creatively destructive» process.

From this same artistic lineage comes Móyòsóré Martins: every painting is a profound journey into his inner battle, every brushstroke becomes a daring thrust and every scratch inflicts a wound, only to artfully reconstruct anew. It is in Móyòsóré Martins’ unwavering authenticity that this deeply personal voyage resonates with all those who dare to «see» within. I hope these artistic jewels will open your eyes like they opened mine, and tempt you to embrace vulnerability, to be exposed and to be «seen».
Then you would know. Now, they know…

-Mazen Soueid


Moyosore Martins-Portrait

Móyòsóré Martins (b. 1986), a self-taught mixed-media artist, uses his art to express his innately curious and spiritual nature. Raised in Lagos, Nigeria by a Brazilian father and a Nigerian mother from Ekiti state, Martins began using a paintbrush and pencil at a young age. He combines his traditional Yoruba cultural roots with a contemporary vision to create artwork that blends figurative, abstract, and narrative elements drawn from his unique life experience, including his journey from Nigeria to his Bronx studio.

Martins’s deeply symbolic artwork frequently features cultural and personal iconography, reflecting his life experience. His paintings are richly textured and use bold brushstrokes, thick oil paint, drawings, scribbles, collaged materials, and text. The vibrant, heavily layered canvases often include spiritual elements and wishes manifested and fulfilled. In addition to painting, Martins also creates three-dimensional art through using found objects and mixed media. As Martins describes:

My artwork is intentionally raw. I like to use a lot of different materials and have rough-cut edges on the canvas. The paintings are textured with scratches, scribbles, and mud-like paint, as well as clay, liquid plastic, oil sticks, chunky layers of oil paint. I layer the background and then deconstruct them, which gives the feeling of wear and tear on the canvas. No painting is alike as each has symbolic patterns and encrypted messages hidden within it. I want to merge the vision with the given and the new world that I live in now. The word “Why?” is seen in a lot of the work because it leaves you asking the same question.

Forbidden by his father to create or study art, Martins spent his college years in Ghana and the Ivory Coast studying computer science. He immigrated to New York City in 2015 to further pursue his artistic ambitions. Martins’ artwork has been exhibited at the Nassau County Museum (Roslyn, NY), TrafficArts (New York, NY), Long-Sharp Gallery (Indianapolis, IN), Path Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Dacia Gallery (New York, NY), Heath Gallery (New York, NY), and Grady Alexis Gallery (New York, NY).


Móyòsóré Martins