Oz Squad

January 09, 2007

Much like how Dylan from Making The Band spit hot fiya for Diddy and 'em, Melbourne artist Dylan Martorell flipped images of indigenous Australian plants, animals and intergalactic shapes for some insane posters and record sleeves for Sonic Youth and his own band, Hi God People. OK, it's not really like that at all. But they're both named Dylan, and we needed to get an intro out there (and an excuse to link the "five best rappers" YouTube. It's still funny!) Anyhoo, what you should take away from all this is that Martorell is that dude, and you should check for him and his creations. Start off by reading his profile after the jump, ripped from the brand-spanking new issue of The FADER, and then maybe drop some loot on the Aussie-only Hi God People/Dead C split 12" (pictured above), a silkscreened, vinyl-only release from Melbourne label Nervous Jerk, available here. It's limited! Get moving! Get reading!

Down Underground

Dylan Martorell’s psychedelic Australia

By Evet Jean

Creatures who morph and melt, interwoven with Australian scenery that is lovingly and psychedelically detailed: welcome to the world of artist Dylan Martorell, whose intricate illustrations, sound installations and mixed media designs have won him acclaim far from his suburban Melbourne home. “Some of my imagery is based on local Australian flora and fauna, such as the lyre birds, flying foxes and tawny frogmouths,” says Martorell. “But my work also reflects a generational feel of artists and musicians who grew up in the ’70s with parents who came of age in the ’60s. A lot of people my age have a residual hippy sensibility, coated in cynicism, optimism and gallows humor.”

Martorell takes cues from African and Asian rituals and textile design, but describes his own work as “stream of unconsciousness minimal animatism” and it centers on music as the main source of inspiration. Martorell has been a member of a number of bands who attempt to pick up where Sun-Ra left off; his latest, Hi God People, were hand picked by Sonic Youth to support them on tour in Australia. With the group, Martorell has found another outlet for visual creation, as he designs the elaborate costumes worn by the band members on stage. “Both music and the visual art come from the same place,” he says. “They deal with the same imagined environments, a kind of improvised psych-exotica, very detailed and layered, but created using very simple elements.”

Martorell will be exhibiting at a collaborative show in Osaka with Nathan Gray as "Snawklor" in January. He was recently part of a drawing show in Brooklyn at Matters this past December.

Posted: January 09, 2007
Oz Squad