60 Seconds With...Shantell Martin

The British-born dynamo is coming for art world BS.

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Courtesy Shantell Martin

In "60 Seconds With," ELLE DÉCOR editor chats with creatives and industry leaders getting the scoop on their life and work in one minute or less. In this installment, he chats with Shantell Martin, a British born artist specializing in line drawings. She's collaborated with artists like Kendrick Lamar, designer Kelly Wearstler, and brands like Puma, Nike, and Tiffany & Co. She's currently an artist-in-residence at 92Y, on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Martin's one minute starts...now.

You’re an artist-in-residence at 92Y in Manhattan.
Yes.

Congratulations. What’s on your agenda there?
A gallery show, a series of youth programs, and a talk with Ilana Glazer from Broad City.

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Courtesy Shantell Martin


Yas queen! What’s your connection to her?
She’s a fan of mine and has some of my art in her home.

What would you change about the art world with the snap of a finger?
I’d take down the facade built around it and call out all the BS and make it transparent.

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Courtesy Shantell Martin

Which BS is that?
We have an art world that doesn’t want to open up to everyone, because it might no longer have an air of importance. Wealthy people would still spend money on art but, at the same time, we’d empower artists and let everyone feel like they’re a part of it.

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Shantell Martin at work.
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Keith Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat: What’s your preference?
Somewhere in the middle.

Plans after the 92Y residency is over?
One involves a big New York City institution. The other is a one-woman show, which will be a mixture of live improvised music, drawing, and speaking. It’s an exploration of myself.

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Courtesy Shantell Martin


Which space would you most like to decorate the walls of?
The Guggenheim museum in NYC. I’d want to do the interior and exterior walls. Can you put in a request for me?

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