In which Narsiso Martinez emerged victorious

So you can’t win at art per se. But.

Okay, so you can’t win at art per se. But sometimes, you’re standing on one side of the Finishing Concepts Gallery, at its Aug. 26 inaugural exhibition titled “Spatial Recognition,” and your next to a slender lady with a free beer in her hand, and you ask her to look around and pick a winner.

And so Christine Rasmussen would look to the other side of the gallery, and she’d point. And she’d say:

“This fucking one with the cardboard. Looking at it from afar, I really love it.”

She’d be talking about Easy to Peel, a colossal 13-foot work with charcoal, acrylics, and gouache on cardboard boxes, the same boxes in which fruit is packaged and shipped to stores and then discarded. It would be a sad but wholly appropriate cliche for me to tell you that seeing a photo of this thing online doesn’t do it justice.

“There is a big difference between the lifestyles of the workers and that of the agribusiness owners,” said Narsiso Martinez, Easy to Peel’s creator. “I aim to contrast the disparities of lifestyles between workers and owners through the usage of symbols, some found on the used boxes and others produced through the art-making process,” he said.


The cardboard boxes are kind of jigsawed together to show Narsiso’s vision, a tree ripe with sumptuous fruit, with a ladder adjacent implying a laborer and the labor performed on the tree. Pointedly painting this image on the boxes the fruit would be shipped in hammers his point home with such purity.

“There’s a conceptual and material link between the orange boxes — the canvas — and the image,” said Mario Vasquez, a local arts writer.

“I like the medium. The artist shows the experience of the link between labor and agriculture,” Mario said.