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Martin Mazorra | Brain Freeze

When I was a kid, I used to think, ‘Man, if I could ever afford all the ice cream I want to eat, that’s as rich as I ever want to be.’ –Jimmy Dean

Martin Mazorra’s ice cream prints, though playful and young at first glance, conceal a more profound meaning beneath the surface. Entitled DelightDreamFutureMagicReality, and Unwind allude to utopian dreams through a favorite American dessert, soft-serve ice cream.

This new series is bursting with confectionery colors. These woodcut and letterpress prints also feature a relief Lego imprint to add texture and complicate the image physically and metaphorically, speaking to the foundations of pleasure. These prints comment on continued social transformation and its intersection with the fleeting nature of consumerism but obscure these ideas through their playful and lively tone. They freeze the dynamics of temporary gratification in the present, with those of the distant sentimental past and the possibilities of a lasting, meaningful future.

Through expansive shades of vibrant color and nostalgic content, Brain Freeze transports us back to carefree childhood days and dots it with the text of adult hopes & dreams. They inspire in us a sense of joy, excitement, and imagination—in fact, in the words of L.M. Montgomery: “I guess ice cream is one of those things that are beyond imagination.” 

Martin Mazorra (b. 1972) was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Mazorra received a BFA from West Virginia University in 1994, and an MFA from American University in Washington D.C. in 1996. He teaches at Pratt Institute and Parson’s School of Design in New York City. Mazorra was the recipient of a 2007 NYFA Fellowship in Printmaking, Drawing and Artist Books. He was also a 2009 United States Artists Ford Foundation Fellow.

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