Merging art and life, Martin Creed (°1968, Wakefield) uses ordinary materials and everyday situations to create multimedia works that have confounded and delighted viewers and critics for nearly 30 years.
Creed rejects the term “conceptual” and calls himself an “expressionist,” referring to his notion that all art stems from feeling. His works range from deadpan, minimalist interventions to rapidly rendered, expressionistic portraits.
Creed approaches the artistic process with humour, anxiety, and experimentation, and with the sensibility of a musician and composer, underpinning everything he does with his open ambiguity on the definition of art.
Awarded the Turner Prize in 2001 for Work 227: the lights going on and off, Creed steadfastly remains a master of the overlooked moment. A crumpled ball of A4 paper, a stack of tiles piled on a floor, a wedged doorstop securing a door open at 45 degrees, neon signs bearing throw-away phrases such as ‘DON’T WORRY’, blu tack appended to a wall; Creed’s treatment of the commonplace is precisely why the seemingly insubstantial carries a surprising emotional charge.
The artist’s expressive methods, through which he gives the viewer pause, are simple, yet graceful. The freedom of interpretation and the interconnection of people sustain his work.