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Shantell Martin: The Power of Authenticity in the Art World

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EP55 - Shantell Martin

The Power of Authenticity in the Art World

Amidst the vibrant backdrop of Los Angeles, Shantell Martin stands out as an artist who seamlessly combines self-awareness, authenticity, and genuine kindness in an industry often overshadowed by its superficial tendencies. In a poignant discussion with MINDED, the renowned artist delved into her journey, offering a candid and enlightening perspective on art and its intricacies.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Emerging from the challenging environment of London, Shantell's road to self-awareness wasn't lined with luxury. It was the gritty streets and the pressing need for survival that sharpened her resilience and adaptability. From these beginnings, Shantell's life transitioned from mere survival to a celebration of living, an experience she firmly believes shaped her identity.

Challenging the Art World’s Status Quo

The art world often evokes images of grand galleries, affluent buyers, and offbeat creators. Yet, below this glamorous surface, lurks a disturbing tolerance for discourtesy. Shantell openly criticized the sector for glorifying individuals based solely on their perceived 'importance', sidelining genuine talent or integrity. She narrated an unsettling incident involving a high-profile artist who mistreated their aide. "Why do we let them behave this way?" Shantell questions, underlining the significance of kindness and dignity, even in the arts.

Reconnecting with Roots

Despite her international acclaim, Shantell remains deeply rooted in her origins. Her annual visits to London are cherished reminders of her background. Whether she's receiving an esteemed award from Central St. Martin's UAL or merely bonding with her large family, these connections are invaluable. Interestingly, her art achievements, while celebrated worldwide, take a backseat at home, replaced by lighthearted chats about TV shows and kin.

A heartwarming episode involves a niece, proudly sharing her relation to Shantell in school, only to face skepticism. This incident, among others, highlights the dualities of Shantell's existence: globally renowned artist on one side, and a down-to-earth individual on the other.

A Bright Future Ahead

Los Angeles, with its captivating horizons, is currently home to Shantell's creative pursuits. She's engrossed in the show "Present Word" and has unveiled an open-source typeface named "Chantelle Sands." While she teases the possibility of exhibitions in LA and New York, it's evident that her authenticity travels with her.

Words of Wisdom

Shantell's parting recommendations echo her diverse interests. From the compelling "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" book to the interstellar adventures of "Star Trek Generations," her choices span a wide spectrum. She also introduces fellow artist Juan Marin, suggesting the extensive realm of gifted individuals often hidden from the mainstream gaze.

In Conclusion

Shantell Martin's dialogue with MINDED reaffirms the strength of authenticity. In an era driven by fleeting definitions of success, her tale underlines the essence of self-awareness, genuine bonds, and the audacity to question established norms. With visionaries like Shantell at the forefront, the art world's future seems not just promising but deeply compassionate.


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