Sex, Politics, and Rock & Roll, Martin’s collages of celebrities and political satire offer a fascinating deep-dive into his ambivalent attitude toward current events and fame, that he meticulously assembles in works on paper. Favorite musicians and public figures share the page with villainous politicians and scandalous celebrities. These latter are self-caricatures reminiscent of William Hogarth’s cynical and lurid engravings of the seventeenth-century, that set the standard for social satire.

Of more direct and recent inspiration to Marty’s collages were the seminal Beatles LP album cover Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Frank Zappa’s We’re Only in it for the Money, which were both highly satirical and cutting statements on fame, politics, celebrity, and religion. 

Marty Cohen

Zappa’s cover was a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Beatles earlier cover: a proudly ‘disturbed’ group of musicians. 

The collages are dense with a co-mingling of Renaissance and Classical imagery with magazine clippings, bursting out of the margin of the page with anxious claustrophobia. 

Many images are bawdy caricatures, offensively exposed in a comedy of derision and mockery. Insofar as some great order of things, there isn’t one, only Chaos Theory seems to prevail. The randomness of proximity of different people and symbols is arbitrary, just as it is in many forms of collage making.

Martin’s collage work recalls the epic landscapes of Pieter Bruegel the ElderHieronymus Bosch, and in the macabre bal-masques of James Ensor. Celebrities and politicians are treated with equal derision and disdain, tongue and cheek reminiscent of the Surrealist and Dada movements. They share the crowded and glaring spotlight beside beloved musicians and artists – like a pop-culture Judgment Day.


original works are available for purchase, as well as prints on paper

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