Martine Johanna paints compelling women portraits that are perfectly (and deliberately) imperfect. “I don’t want them to fall flat or be just pretty,” she noted once, in an interview with The HYDE Magazine, “I want life in them and experiences because that is what makes people interesting.”
“Most of the characters are not airbrush perfect or standard but the color palette makes you feel that they are perfect, so any dark circles under the eyes or intense expressions do not feel negative,” she further explains.
Both personal and impersonal, her paintings are the products of dreams, personal experiences and personality conflicts between the authentic self, taught mannerism, and projected morality. It’s the kind of artwork that, though intimate and personal, touches on universal experiences. As such, her work, admits Johanna, strikes a chord with most viewers.
“Whatever the viewer feels I feel is completely up to them,” she says. “A lot of people feel a connection to these paintings and see something of themselves in them. And it is women and men that feel that connection.”
Born and raised in Gelderland, the Netherlands, Johanna has received both her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s degree from ArtEZ, the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem; and her work has been exhibited in multiple solo shows in the Netherlands, Europe, and the United States.