Robby Martin is a lifelong artist also known as Biscuit Street Preacher. He is a self-described Neo-Expressionist painter who depicts subjects in a raw, childish, and brutish manner. He is from Alabama and is currently living in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and fellow painter Mary.
How long have you been an artist?
I have been an artist my entire life, but never developed into a gallery artist until about 15 years ago. I suppose my life had been moving in that direction even before I realized it. I did my very first public exhibition at a place called Cafe Roma, a popular hangout across from UNLV [University of Nevada, Las Vegas] which is unfortunately no longer there. The next big event to change the course of my career as a gallery artist happened a couple years later during a First Friday event. I was displaying my work in a tent on the streets of the festival and Trifecta Gallery in The Arts Factory happened to be looking for another artist to represent. I became that artist. Trifecta and Marty Walsh and Susan Futrell gave me my first solo gallery shows. From those humble beginnings, I have since had solo shows across the United States and have collectors both domestic and internationally.
What inspired you to get into painting? Is there an artist or piece that inspired you most?
Jean Micheal Basquiat. I remember going to the Library on West Sahara, the one with the art gallery in it and researching Artists. At that time I was attracted to the works of Caulder, Paul Klee, and Marc Chagall. The librarian who was helping me find these books said I should see Basquiat. I was hooked. Not only was the art amazing, but there was someone like me- an uneducated artist from the streets, a graffiti artist, a nobody. Basquiat became one of the most inspiring artists of his generation. If he can do it, why can’t I?
Can you explain your process? Is there a central catalyst or theme for your work?
A process? A central catalyst? Not really. I see the world a certain way-dare I say a different way. I notice a cigarette butt next to a beautiful flower and find that interesting, go figure? My process comes from a broad conceptual idea and I figure out the logistics of how to portray my thoughts onto canvas as the painting progresses. Sometimes, I am even surprised by the results myself.
What is unique about the Las Vegas art community?
What isn’t unique about the Las Vegas art community? I lived in Spokane, Washington for a few months recently; it is a nice town but they don’t make movies or write songs about Spokane. Vegas is such a unique source of inspiration, providing a wide spectrum of some of the darkest places of mankind to some of the brightest and most colorful things imaginable. One giant blank canvas, where anything you can dream up can come to fruition here. Las Vegas is a city where your wildest dreams can come true.
Who are some of your favorite living artists? Is there anyone here in Las Vegas that you especially appreciate?
AMTK – Tynan Kerr & Andrew Mazorol check out their website. I love their work and think they are brilliant. As far as artists here in Vegas, I love all my brothers and sisters here but I still aspire to rise to the top.
You have a show coming up. Where/when is it and what can we expect?
Nunca Ido – “Never Gone” by Artist Robby Martin “Biscuit Street Preacher” is September 28th through November 21st.
Hosted by Nancy Good and Core Contemporary Gallery. 900 E. Karen Avenue, Suite D222, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Call 702-805-1166 for more information.