Rob Martinez is a busy guy. The videographer, editor and composer conjures a simple surrealism that pleasantly haunts his music with self-created and produced film. As experimental performer, Honor System, Martinez plays against a backdrop of pre-shot footage in sync and manipulated by the music. In turn, the aesthetic he creates is nothing short of wizardry. Martinez also lends his creative lens and musical chops to other local artists, including local singer and long-time girlfriend, Rat Rios.
Martinez effortlessly weaves the mundane in with the elegant and blurs the line between non-fiction and fantasy to create an experience that’s truly unique in both sight and sound. So, what inspires such creativity, and how has he taken root in Dallas and, recently, with Art Conspiracy?
Which artists have influenced you most significantly?
I draw a lot of inspiration from still photographers. Gregory Crewdson is my favorite, and Todd Hido, too. Books are a well of inspiration. I’m not really much of a birdwatcher, but The Peregrine by J.A. Baker is so beautifully written. Currently reading Stephen King’s The Stand. Films, specifically the work of David Lynch, of course, plus Christopher Nolan, Roman Polanski, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott, Joel Coen, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Hiro Murai. Music wise, I would say Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dan Romer, Anna Meredith, Sufjan Stevens, and Shigeto, to name a few.
When did you decide you were an artist?
I must’ve been seven or eight years of age when I saw the feature film Space Jam from director Joe Pytka and was ardently convinced I would be in the NBA. I was tall for my age, too, and took that as a sign that I was destined to be a professional basketball player. It was either that or a Power Ranger. Young Rob, slightly obsessed with this idea, began to draw his future teammates (Loony Toons) and conjured a love for “creating.” The idea that something wasn’t there but now exists was intoxicating.
I also sketched the Millennium Falcon. I nailed it! It was perfect. From that moment on, all I wanted to do was create. Looking back on the drawing, it looks a lot more like some sort of depressed, soggy waffle, but at that time it gave me confidence to try to make a life in the cruel, yet rewarding creative world.
What’s your relationship with Art Conspiracy?
Art Con is the freaking coolest! My favorite show that I’ve played to date was an Art Con show. I’m so thankful that they gave me an opportunity to play for such an amazing, attentive crowd. It seemed like they actually cared about the art instead of just going out to get drunk. After that, I did some digging into who they are and what they do, and everyone should. We’re so lucky they exist. They’re an essential artery to the creative heart of Dallas.
What about Dallas?
Dallas has been really good to us since we’ve been here. It’s mostly supportive to artists. That’s cool. I do feel as though it has potential to explode into something really great after seeing the stellar talent around these parts and it being a halfway point between NY and LA. I think we’re on the ground floor of something big.
Don’t miss Honor System opening for Siamese at Texas Theater, Saturday, March 4.
Interview By: Christin Taylor Workman