Daniel Joseph Martinez was born in Los Angeles in 1957 and received his B.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1979. Martinez’s work utilizes a conceptual operation takes the form of photography, painting, installation, robotics, performance and public interventions that delve into topics of race and sociopolitical boundaries present within American society.
His intervention at the 1993 Whitney Biennial titled Museum Tags: Second Movement (Overture); or Overture con Claque (Overture with Hired Audience Members), received critical attention and thrust him into the spotlight. Martinez’s work has been exhibited worldwide at prestigious museums and galleries including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (1993 and 2008); Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California (1994); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (1995); International Center of Photography, New York, New York (2004); Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas (2005); El Museo del Barrio, New York, New York (2006); The Project, New York, New York (2007); Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas (2008); Instituto Cervantes, Madrid, Spain (2010); Anchorage Museum AIR, Anchorage, Alaska (2011); Simon Preston Gallery, New York, New York (2012); Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California (2012); Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, Michigan (2013). Martinez represented the United States pavilion at the 10th International Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt (2006) and the 12th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2011). Martinez’s work can be found in public collections both in the United States and abroad including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, Florida; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas. Martinez has received three National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artists Fellowships, a fellowship from the Getty Center, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Martinez received the United States Artists’ Fellowship (2008); the Rasmuson Foundation Alaska’s artist-in-residence award (2009) and the Fellows of Contemporary Art Fellowship (2010). Hatje Cantz published A life of Disobedience (2009), a monograph of Martinez’s work. Martinez is Professor of Art and Graduate Studies at the University of California Irvine.