Martin Whist

Born 1967, British Columbia. Canada


Artist Statement:
The process of making my work is an active meditation rooted in the present moment. The pieces are a bi-product and reflection of this meditation: a meditation on the unseen becoming seen. A simple, quiet, scaleless, moment of infinite potential.


Martin began his undergraduate education at Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada and then Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver, British Columbia. He earned his Masters in Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont California, graduating in 1992. He currently lives in Georgia.


Martin Whist was represented by Catriona Jeffreys Gallery in Vancouver and Acme Gallery in Los Angeles in the 1990’s and into the early 2000s, before choosing to pursue his art privately while applying his energy to work in the film industry. Starting as a prop maker, Whist’s creative vision and talents saw him develop into an accomplished Art Director, and later Production Designer, on independent and major motion pictures, including Robocop, The Predator, and Super 8; cult classics such as The Cabin In the Woods, Cloverfield, Smokin Aces, and Tenacious D “The Pick of Destiny”; acclaimed design original Bad Times At The El Royale, and the much anticipated upcoming Netflix release The Harder They Fall.

Nearly 20 years after withdrawing from the public art scene, Martin is moving back into the current art dialogue with watercolor paintings and drawings, while maintaining his career in cinema.

About His Art:

Whereas Whist’s filmmaking design process is bold, complex, extroverted and involves many moving parts, the creative pendulum swings back in his art making approach to a quiet, solo, introspective activity. Whist begins his art making in a meditative, receptive, “empty” state. The script as a guideline is replaced with intuition, observation, and faith. His mark making starts loose, open and observant. Once begun, the process is an activity of impulse and response. A back and forth between questions and responses, introspection and execution, articulation and suggestion. There is an effort made to remain subjectively uninvolved but clear in translation. Transcribing an experience and exploration at the intersection of spirit and form, mind and body, idea and execution. Endeavoring to not trap the image but find a resonance and balance somewhere between a question and an answer.