Subject Matters: Sebastian Martorana in Sculpture

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art features sculpture that challenges tradition.

Sebastian Martorana, Yours, Mine, Ours, 2010, Carrara marble, steel hardware, 36” x 60” x 8”
Sebastian Martorana, Glove: Leather, 2016, Indiana limestone, 4” x 8” x 11”
Sebastian Martorana, Homeland Security Blanket, 2008, Imperial Danby marble, 24” x 24” x 24”
Sebastian Martorana, Icon I: Kermit, 2009, Imperial Danby marble, 15” x 8” x 8”
Sebastian Martorana, Permanent Separation Anxiety, 2018, salvaged Beaver Dam marble, 12” x 16” x 7”

With the start of spring, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art opened its doors for the season. One of their 2019 highlights is sculpturist Sebastian Martorana’s first-ever solo exhibition in New England: Subject Matters: Sebastian Martorana in Sculpture. The Baltimore-based contemporary artist takes a direct approach to sculpture. He most often works from observation, creating lifelike carvings that challenge the traditional styles of marble sculptures. The imagery found in Martorana’s artwork is seemingly effortless, but his skillful approach is steeped in artistic tradition and discipline. Martorana plays with textures, patterns, volumes, and forms, creating something familiar with an unexpected twist: added humor and politically charged themes.

Showcasing more than ten years of work, Subject Matters features 21 sculptures, including White Plastic Bag Memorial, a 2008 sculpture that commemorates our current environmental concerns and cultural shifts. “This was my first attempt to create preemptive memorials—meaning memorials to something that will soon be gone,” Martorana states in a press release from the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. “They are, at the same time, praise for legislative movements to phase out the use of plastic bags and objects of reflection for the passing of the ‘plastic’ era. Physically, plastic bags and stone materials share the same life cycle, only differing greatly in their duration. They both appear smooth, sparkling, and shiny at first, but when left to the elements they begin to break down, lose their shine, and become overlooked, just part of the background to passersby.”

Subject Matters: Sebastian Martorana in Sculpture will be on view until October 31, when the museum closes for the winter. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for seniors and students; all are available for purchase online. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 1 through October 31. Maine Home+Design gives a preview of the exhibition here.

Share The Inspiration