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      Martin Beck has been a figurative artist since 1992. For Beck, what began as political statements in paint and pastel have become a search through portraiture for what it means to be human in the twenty-first century. He is best known for large pastel and mixed media drawings and paintings of the nude human form. Martin Beck has received several awards, honors, and distinctions, including two New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowships and Artist in Residence at the Medana Art Festival in Slovenia and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT. Beck has exhibited widely, and his work has appeared in several publications.  Martin Beck lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky.



       We are thrown into this world. Where I live, dead insects and frogs desiccate in the hot Kentucky sun. I find them around the pond, pool, and on the pavers. Birds are prone to attack from predators, drop dead from mysterious causes, or from being shut in the shed. I find clumps of feathers amongst the trees and bird bodies in the grass. The freezer in my studio is a mortuary for dead birds, and elsewhere there is a small box with withered bodies. Refrigerated trucks in New York City still contain the bodies of COVID-19 victims. America’s democratic experiment seems doomed. I can finally only agree with T.S.Eliot, “The only wisdom we can hope to acquire Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.”

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