Teddy Bear Care Center, 2022
Martha Colburn: New Paintings
“Layer upon layer, thought upon thought, the five new paintings by Martha Colburn have slowly grown into existence. Digesting the concerning news headlines of recent months, snippets from Colburn’s personal life, and litter found on Californian streets, the paintings play with the essence of iconic imagery. A skull, a tank. A teddy bear, a ballerina in balaclava. Fanged female genitalia become a powerful symbol stitched into the American flag. These are images that are universally recognizable. Timely and timeless.
Teddy Bear Care Center is a reminder of the terrible violence war brings upon children. Colburn splatter-painted this canvas, covering it with multicolored drops of paint. She then added very small pieces of paper, echoing the irregular pattern of the paint splatters. Up close, the array of colors and images is dazzling, seducing you closer. Step back, and you see the giant teddy bear, lying limp in a disturbing setting – a montage of scenes of exploded nurseries from the war in Ukraine.” — Leonor Faber-Jonker, July 2022