Introducing Artist No. 10 – Chas Martin

Chas Martin, PDXOS Artist No. 10, is not an artist to be pigeonholed in one medium or another.  When I asked him what he had in store for his visitors this fall during the PDXOS Tour, he replied “Visitors will see the evolution of a story in progress. Visiting my studio is like hanging out backstage at a theater. Some characters are in costume and ready to take the stage. Others are still getting their makeup. Developing a sculpture is like a conversation between director and actor. I explore how each nuance amplifies the character’s story. That exploration can include pencil sketches, a maquette, a few watercolors, a wire frame armature, maybe a few photos for reference or a collage of the stage. I may even paint a specific background for each character to provide additional context to their role.”

He has been an artist since he was about 13, when he started drawing rat finks and funny cars with huge engines and fat tires. He tells me that “art is as important to me as exercise or eating. I think the act of making things, especially things that come from our inner thoughts, makes us balanced and healthy.”

 Chas studied visual communication at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has worked as a graphic designer, art director, set designer, wood carver, web designer, and instructor. “Visual communication has remained at the core of everything I’ve done my entire career. I’m inspired by prolific people who have figured out how to support themselves without compromise so their art form can breathe and grow daily.”

He is currently creating a cast of characters “sculptures of archetypes who all play a role in an epic narrative. They are actors in my personal mythology. They are all part of my own epic hero’s  journey.“  His dream project is “to merge imagination and realization into a revelation. I want to create a garden of larger-than-life sculpted characters and translucent panels. Walking through the garden produces a dreamlike experience where archetypal spirits and primal images induce magic. It’s both concrete and ethereal.  It’s an experience that releases your dependence on physical limitations and strengthens your ability to visualize and realize your own dreams.”


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