Born in Bangor, Maine, Martha Rich lived the typical suburban life, her bio says, “until she followed her husband to Los Angeles where, just short of a picket fence and 2.5 children her average American life unraveled. To cope with divorce, fate lead her to a class taught by painters and brothers Rob and Christian Clayton. They persuaded her to quit the pantyhose, corporate world, leave her human resources job at Universal Studios behind and become an artist full-time. She graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena”.
Now living in Philidelphia, Martha’s art has been in galleries all over the world and she does commercial work for magazines, books and even music videos! I love Martha’s story as much as I love her paintings. In her artists statement, she says:
“I am giving myself permission to make useless art, and by useless I mean driven by impracticality, that is informed by moments quietly noticed and not by what is shouted. What is noticed now has been built upon what was noticed before…insignificant moments that accumulate and become something significant.”
Reading this statement is like getting a pass from the teacher that says, “Relax. Just create.”
What I love most about Martha’s art is that her paintings feel both satisfying graphically, and have a social commentary that we can relate to. Funny + colorful yet evoking a conversation. She’s a genius.