Off the Street
and Onto the Wall
Artist Martin Budny shines at DV8
my dreams. Im open to my passions.
life Ive chosen
Im committed to it - Martin
Martin Budny cant get a gig in this town. The trained actor,
who has had parts in televisions Dark Angel, Smallville,
and DaVincis Inquest, has been to a number of
auditions this year but has yet to land a role. This is not so much
a reflection on his talent as it is a sign of a slowdown in the
local film/TV industries in general. But Martin will not get caught
up in the typical 9 to 5 rat race to supplement his income. I
refuse to get a regular job, he says matter-of -factly.
The good news is
that Martin is an extraordinarily talented painter. His work is in collections
throughout North America, as well as in Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Hong
Kong, Singapore, and Brazil. Not bad for the 26 year old, self-taught
artist who less than six years ago was selling artwork on the sidewalks
of North Beach, California. He has hawked his art on streets from Vancouver
to New York to Brazil for as little as $50 or just for a place to stay.
But year by year the prices have steadily gone up. Most recently, a
large canvas fetched $6800the most, so far.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq to Polish, Bulgarian parents, his artistic side
was inspired by the rich creativity of his extended family. There were
artists and musicians all around him growing up. His aunt and uncle
were professional musicians; his grandfather, an accomplished realism
artist; his mother, a dancer in stage musicals. He was also, no doubt,
stimulated by a childhood spent in the opulent cultures of Poland, Bulgaria
In 1987 his family immigrated to Canada. Finding it difficult to adapt
to his new environs, he spent a lot of time in the library, developing
a fascination with cartoon drawings, graphics and high-end consumer
branding. His artistic career began to blossom when he moved to Vancouver
in 1996. He was accepted into Langara Colleges respected Studio
58 acting program, and also took up drumming. Around this time he also
began to seriously focus on the visual arts. He works in acrylics, oils
and mixed media; his influences range from Gustav Klimt to Jackson Pollock
to the Austrian painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
He has traveled throughout North America during the past few years,
and recently spent five months in Brazil, but he keeps returning to
Vancouver. I like painting here. There are a lot of opportunities
(in the art world). Tall, dark, fit and slender, definitely cool
but without the attitude, he is calm and friendly, eager to proceed
with our brief interview, anticipating many more situations like this
in the future. The life Ive chosen
to it. I have no secrets really. I follow my dreams. Im open to
He also enjoys the promotional part of the artists life: Im
pretty good at it, he states flatly, without any hint of arrogance.
Its fun to paint
. The business comes later, naturally.
His current solo show is running from October 1 to 29 at one of Vancouvers
hippest restaurant-lounges, DV8. Martins new exclusive representative,
Posh Entertainment Inc. has organized this show. This is something new
for Martin, having a backer, helping to arrange his promotions. Im
a huge control freak. Im learning as I go
Victoria Clements, the owner of Posh, was introduced to Martins
work when she was looking for original art for the walls of her animation
studio. I thought his work was perfect for the clientele that
wandered through the office. I was obviously right because it was on
the walls less than a week and we sold a painting to an animation director
we had in the studio here from Florida. He loved his work.
Victoria has a lengthy and impressive resume in the art world, having
been everything from a runway model and production assistant to a performer
in The Vagina Monologues. No doubt Martin and his career
could do much worse than having a promoter such as Victoria, with her
sincere enthusiasm and her considerable clout in the entertainment world.
Her new company is marketing and promoting a few select artists, fashion
designers and filmmakers; Martin is the first artist on her roster.
Postscript (October 1/02, 10:00pm)
Opening Night - DV8 A doorman in a slick suit and tie with guestbook
in hand stands guard outside DV8. A small crowd mingles in front of
the entrance, waiting for a table or a spot at the bar.
Stepping inside the small space, the tables are jammed with a young
and beautiful crowd. Its impossible to get a close-up view of
Martins creations hanging from the wallswithout invading
the space of the table-sitters.
But the effect as a whole of his lively, colourful work is electric:
a funky, cool contemporary art vibe befitting of the DV8 lounge.
There is a buzz in the room, but the artist has yet to show
Check out his work if you are in Vancouver this month. Highly recommended.
DV8 Lounge (515 Davie Street,
© Stewart Clayton - Writer/Teacher - Intern this fall on hackwriters
October 2, 2002
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