MONICA MARTINEZ
RESEARCH STATEMENT:

I fabricate artifacts and scenarios of the spaces and storage vessels used in food production, display and distribution. This work is influenced directly by formal aspects of vernacular Mexican food culture as well as the industrial architectures of silos, granaries and temporary containers used in the warehousing and dispersal of surpluses. Starting from the physical foundations of sculpture, I recently started to follow the work into more direct experimentations with food economies, aesthetics and entrepreneurship. In 2009 I designed a large scale edible insect farm as a utopian proposal for urban farming, which the following year led to the founding of “Don Bugito”, an edible insect entrepreneur- ial food project. Under the guidance of a nonprofit incubator program in San Francisco called La Cocina, I have put theory into practice through “Don Bugito” to see where they meet, and have offered sit-down dinners and other types of food events as an extension of this utopian gesture. This enterprise is an intensive physical operation that requires active social participation to exist. Currently I hope to extend the meaning of the artist as an entrepreneur and continue to keep exploring the arrangement of material possibilities that can be expressed through food markets.

Monica is a native of Mexico City, receiving her MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Monica is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony as well as Sculpture Space in New York, and has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, most recently at the New Positions program at Art Cologne in Germany and the Museo de Arte Querétaro in México. Her work has been featured on Nova, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, PRI’s The World and the United Nations FAO report on Food Security. Monica resides in San Francisco, California where she is a visiting lecturer at the University of San Francisco and an Instructor in the Continuing Education Program at the San Francisco Art Institute.