Martin Whatson is a Norwegian born and based stencil artist. While studying Art and Graphic design at Westerdals School of Communication, Oslo, he discovered stencils and the urban art scene. After following graffiti and its development, he started his own stencil production 10 years ago in the winter of 2004.
Martin has a continuous urge to search for beauty in what is commonly dismissed as ugly, out of style or simply left behind. He looks for inspirations in people, city landscapes, old buildings, graffiti, posters and decaying walls. This interest for decay has helped develop his style, motives and composition and he enjoys creating either unity or conflict between materials, backgrounds, motives and human intervention. His artistic expression started more political, but has developed into a more subtle expression blending graffiti, stencil art and decay together. Inspired by artist like Jose Parlá and Cy Twombly. His abstract graffiti and stencils are a mix of urban scenes showing the development of a walls lifetime. He use grey tones as a basis but add’s vibrant colours to break the monochrome concrete expression and bring a splash of life to his motives. Since his artistic debut in 2004, he has had several solo shows and participated in many group exhibitions, both nationally and in international metropoles like Tokyo, Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles.
2016: Affinity (collaboration with SNIK), Modus Art Gallery, Paris.
2015: Old News, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; About-Face, Blackbook Gallery, Denver, USA;
2014: Hide & Seek, Rex Romae, London/UK; Nationalteateret, Nationalteateret, Oslo, Norway; Square, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway.
2013: Transformed, Gallery Kawamatsu, Tokyo, Japan; Undercover, Reed Projects Gallery, Stavanger, Norway; The Beauty of Grey, MSA Gallery, Paris, France.
2011: What have i done?, Black Pop Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Love Tour, Gallery Kawamatsu, Tokyo, Japan.
2015: Context ArtFair, Blackbook Gallery Booth, Miami, USA; HOME, Reed Projects Gallery, Stavanger, Norway; Outsiders In, Reedprojects Gallery, Stavanger, Norway; Your kid can’t do this, aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney, Australia; I LOVE Kabul, Graffitiprints, Kabul, Afghanistan; Different Strokes, Hin Bus depot, Penang, Malaysia; 2 for 2, Vertical Gallery, Chicago, USA.
2014: Scope Artfair, Blackbook Gallery booth, Miami, USA; ARTmageddon, Vertical Gallery, Chicago, USA; LA Contraband 2, Riviera 31, Los Angeles, US; Stencil Bastards 3, Starkart Exhibitions, Zurich, Switzerland; Different Strokes, Bottleneck Gallery, New York, US; A-Laget utvalg ’14 – Summer, Galleri-A, Oslo / Norway; Scope Artfair, Blackbook Gallery booth, New York, US; Scope Artfair, C.A.V.E. Gallery booth, New York, US.
2013: Juleutstilling 2013, Galleri Bi-Z, Kristiansand, Norway; Buy, Work, Consume, Die, Reedprojects gallery, Stavanger, Norway; A-Laget utvalg ’13 – Winter, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Home sweet home, Bottleneck Gallery, New York, US; LA contraband, Los Angeles, US; About time, Galleri GEO, Bergen, Norway; The dirty art, Blankspace, Oslo, Norway; Moniker Artfair, Souled out Studios bunker, London, UK; True Colors, Shop 13, London, UK; A-Laget – 10 year anniversary, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Bybildet: Redefinert, Oslofjorden Kunstsenter, Drøbak, Norway; Stencil art Norway, Reedprojects Gallery, Stavanger, Norway.
2012: A-Laget utvalg ’12 – Winter, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; A-Laget utvalg ’12 – Summer , Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Match Point, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Street Smart, Bergen, Kjøtt, Bergen, Norway.
2011: Deflate the hype, Black Pop Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; A-Laget utvalg ’11 – Winter, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; ULTRA 004 artfair, Gallery Kawamatsu booth, Tokyo, Japan; Young Art, Scandic Vulcan, Oslo, Norway; T&J Artwalk, Blomqvist, Oslo, Norway; A-Laget utvalg ’11 – Summer, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway.
2010: Punk’s Not Dead, Gallery North Gate, Tokyo, Japan; A-Laget utvalg ’10 – Winter, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Mattia Benefit, Naples, Italy; Strike the Street, Rome, Italy; A-Laget utvalg ’10 – Summer, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Totally, Pretty Dirty , Tokyo, Japan; A-Laget utvalg ’09 – Winter, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway.
2009: Dreams & Nightmares, Vancover, Canada; A-Laget utvalg ’09 – Summer, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway; Threesome – Nice, Nice Exhibitions, Hannover, Germany.
2008 : Merry crunchmas, Opus underground, Manchester, United Kingdom; Inside / Outside, Carmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, US; The end is nigh, End Bar, Newcastle, United Kingdom; A-Laget utvalg ’08 – Summer, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway.
2007: Melbourne stencil festival, J-Studios, Melbourne, Australia; Urban art agenda #1, Shed 4, Melbourne, Australia.
2006: Vinyl killers #6, The goodfoot, Detroit, USA.
2016: Interview, Decompoz Magazine; Interview, Fluoro Magazine.
2014: Streetart Norway 2 – Kontur Forlag; Bærumsavisa – Interview; NRK National news – TV interview.
2013: Budstikka – Interview; TV2 national news – TV interview.
2012: Bergens Tidene – Feature on Streetart Norway 2; D2 – Feature on Streetart Norway; Magasinet KUNST – Streetart Special; Rogaland avis – Feature on the ONS project.
2011: Audi Magazine – Feature on how to buy art; Streetart Calendar – Wooster Collective & Tachen; Costume Magazine – Toms Charity event.
2010: Streetart Norway – Kontur Forlag.
PROJECTS & FESTIVALS
2016: Cities of Hope festival , Norther Quarter, Manchester, United Kingdom.
2015: Outdoor Festival, Caserma Guido Reni, Rome, Italy; NuArt festival ’15, Tou Scene, Stavanger, Norway; Toms x NRC for Syria, Galleri-A, Oslo / Norway.
2014: NuArt festival ’14 – Tou Scene –Stavanger / Norway; Memorie Urbane – Gaeta / Italy; Project M3 – Curated by NuArt – Berlin / Germany; NuArt festival ’13 – Tou Scene – Stavanger / Norway.
2012: Holzweiler Scarfs, Oslo, Norway; Commission, ONS, ONS fair, Stavanger / Norway.
2011: T-Shirts for Montage, Tokyo, Japan; T&J, Artwalk, Oslo, Norway; Tennis arena decoration, Riksanlegget for Tennis, Hasle, Oslo, Norway; Super City Bros, DogA, Oslo, Norway; Toms charity, Galleri-A, Oslo, Norway.
2009: Urban Paint festival, Bristol, UK.