Sunday, February 7, 2010


I'd never heard this story before, but it fascinates me.
His life in prison is told through the images --
this website chronicles and comments on them.
Wow. Wow. Wow.

Also, the images are stunning.
The crime is fascinating. This man and his work.
Wow. I'm at a loss. I don't feel like I can do any of it justice. Here:

"In 2003, Alfredo Martinez was jailed for faking drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat. While in prison, Alfredo drew images on any paper he could find, with any pen or pencil he could get his hands on. He would then color his drawings with coffee grounds, sign the artwork with both name and inmate number, and ship them out of prison by labeling them as legal documents."

"one day a really large package arrived.
ALFREDO MARTINEZ, Drawings from Prison, July 14, 2003"

"ALFREDO MARTINEZ, the first Drawings from Prison, Sept 3, 2003"

"with a little encouragement, larger pieces begin to arrive. these works were produced on homemade paper, using paper scraps, flour & water, a skill Alfredo picked up from a Russian inmate, and colored with casually available food stuffs, such as instant coffee packets. art supplies are absolutely forbidden in the federal prison system, due to their abuse in facilitating gang markings and tattoos. ALFREDO MARTINEZ, Drawings from Prison, Sept 3, 2003"

(Repeating this image because I love it.)

"based on this output, a show was arranged for Alfredo at THE PROPOSITION GALLERY. Alfredo had exhibited there previously, but relations had become a little strained, but there was no denying the beauty and forcefulness of the prison production. The card's image was a large rendering of the force feeding episodes. Alfredo was in Hunger Strike Day 55 when they strapped him down and put tubes up his nose. The show was called: 'THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. ALFREDO MARTINEZ', Drawings from Prison. It ran from October 24 - November 29, 2003."


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