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LIGHTBOX – Angelo Ray Martinez

January 29, 2016

We are honored to host our fourth LIGHTBOX artist,  Angelo Ray Martinez! Originally from Boulder, CO, he’s an undergraduate instructor and third year MFA candidate here at the University of Illinois. Fun fact, he’s married to Melonie Mulkey, our first LIGHTBOX artist!  Walk or drive by our 312 S. Neil St. storefront to view Angelo’s playful art installation made from latex on wood panels and the wall, on display December 15 – March 15, 2016.

Sharing the story of Rubberneck, in Angelo’s own words:

For this site specific installation, Rubberneck, I wanted to respond to the act of looking that one experiences when actually driving past the Lightbox window, while also playfully contemplating contemporary attitudes toward gender, class, and driving. The illustrations are in reference to the golden age of American animation, in particular the work of Tex Avery, the creator of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and many other popular cartoon characters. The central figure is based on Avery’s Big Bad Wolf character in his Red Hot Riding Hood animations, where the wolf’s exaggeratedly lustful character drools over an attractive Red Riding Hood.

Angelo Ray Martinez Lightbox

In this open-ended scene, the wolf is being distracted while leisurely driving his 1955 Bel Air, accidentally causing a fender bender with a police vehicle. The viewer is allowed to determine why the driver is so preoccupied by what is presumably an owner walking their dog, and the significance of the many other complications implied by the rest of the scenario.

The whimsical aspects of cartoon illustration allow for a humorous approach to addressing some of the potential politics, power, and liability involved with the act of looking and cruising. My intention is not to make any kind of heavy handed statement concerning social norms or values, but instead to create an entertaining narrative that playfully explores some of the contradictions and taboos of modern life.

See more of Angelo Ray Martinez’s art at, and connect with him on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr!

A BIG thank you to 40 North for their involvement and support of the LIGHTBOX program!