Josh Martin

So hello, I'm Josh, and I'm a photographer living in Seattle.  I take pictures of the city and of industrial places around the Pacific Northwest, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from looking at my work.  I seek out rusty, weathered surfaces and crop out the surroundings, mostly, so though there may be a small identifying detail that gives a sense of size or place, for the most part the images just become pure abstractions of color and form.

And that's what I like about them - they're pretty and gritty and fun to look at.  It doesn't need to go any deeper in meaning than that (unless you want it to, of course - be my guest!).  I want people just to enjoy them because they're neat looking! Plus I think it's cool that they kind of look like paintings, and I love printing them out on huge stretched canvases to emphasize that effect. I'm ridiculously new at this, and 2010 marks the first year that I've decided to make my work public.  Even though I grew up in a household with a photography professor and an art historian/art journalist for parents, I was always dissuaded from pursuing any sort of career in the art world (strange, right?), so I sort of kept my light under the proverbial bushel until recently.  And how do my parents feel about my work now that I'm in my 40's, you may ask? I'm happy to say they've come around and they're extremely supportive. Hooray!

clearing - I love the little patch of blue just aching to open up amid all the rust and become open sky.

crossover - I think this was on the side of a rain barrel down by the canal near my work.  It jumped right out at me when I was taking a walk - stopped me in my tracks.

flurry - My camera somehow sees birds and snowflakes when I photograph sheet metal. I stopped myself at two images in this series, but there were so many opportunities in this one piece of metal, it was overwhelming.

galactic - This is one of my personal favorites.  I have always been fascinated with outer space, and happily, I keep discovering space-like images in the most odd places.  Who knew there was a whole galaxy waiting to be photographed in this warehouse driveway?

history II - Sometimes there's no real-world reference, just lovely combinations of color that I enjoy seeing together.

ignite - Something about this odd little patch of metal is just fascinating and tactile to me - like a painting made with cake frosting.

modern II - I really like the scale and placement of the, what would you call them, objects in this one?  The huge diagonal sweep and the sort of floaty bit hanging out under it are somehow comforting to me. Odd.

operatic - this one reminds me of an avante garde stage set, or perhaps that sequence in fantasia where all the musical timbres of orchestral instruments got translated into a visual sequence.

plume - I notice that much of the time, rust on metal ends up looking like an underwater scene after a little color enhancement. Ironic? Coincidence? Either way I think it's really neat looking.

reef & reef II - Lots of people see space in these images, but I always picture myself at the bottom of a reef, looking up toward the surface.

they were here - It's kind of odd for me to include something so distinctly referential to real life as a hand print, but there was something kind of haunting about these little hands, just floating there amid the decaying rock of the wall, that I really liked.

cannonball - sometimes I just want a simple punch against a soft background, and this cannonball on a weathered table in the desert was kinda perfect. It's clearly a real object as evidenced by the shadow, but it's also a little confusing since scale can't really be perceived.

Contact Josh Martin

To see my body of work - or even buy a piece or two (!!), please visit my website: Josh Martin Photography or  email me at if you have questions or comments.

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