The Art of Fred Martin
Homepage      Art      Exhibitions      Art Histories      Essays      Classes      Publications

A selection of paintings, 1958
Harrison Street and "Do you know my name?"
Pencil, watercolor, collage on paper, 12 x 9 in.
Images marked
** are described in the catalog for my 2003 Retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California. 
Click the
** to go to the description.

Scroll down for the paintings, click the thumbnails for a larger view.

Jung writes of "active imagination," a way of following an image as it develops... even through a lifetime.  And I had read what he wrote.  Jung writes of the mandala as a possible symbol/shape for the potential wholeness of the psyche (soul?), and I had seen some Hindu/Buddhist examples as well as those in his book Symbols of Transformation.  Joland Jacobi gives a diagram of Jung's concept of the conscious/unconscious mind in her book The Psychology of Jung; and I had a copy of that book.  And I had found a white bird descending in a valley as the symbol of my masculinity, and a heart as the symbol of the love which that bird promises forever to keep.  And there was the diamond of the four directions with light and dark, and the blue of the waters of life, and two snakes I had seen twining in a painting by Morris Graves.  And in 1958 one day with the question, "Do you know my name?" I followed all of that to seek an answer.

Nowadays "Do you know my name?" lives in the manila folder in the thumbnail above.  The folder lives with perhaps a hundred or more other folders, each filled with similar "active imaginations" of the images of the life of the soul.  For several years--late 1957-early 1958 through 1961 or 1962--night after night I would follow the paths of the images appeared in the mysterious intercourse of paper and paint, a bit of newspaper, a fragment of a painting or a scrap from  an old travel book.  Then was laid down the way of working I have followed mostly since (click for the year 2000 affirmation of that), and the images in that work more than forty years ago have so many returned so often in the great spiral of human life.

#1. to the right was the first sheet in the series, seeking the seed to start the growth.  The paper is torn in a corner like so many other works from that time because I hung them in a show in The Cellar, a "poetry and jazz" bar with brick walls, and used rubber cement to stick the works to the bricks.


Do you know my name?  Do you know my name? If it is the music drifting across the water of time, what tune shall I play today?







Be green with Life.



I know what I am.




The most blessed secret
flower of the redemption


** 12.

I am the purity and special
perfection of them all.



Click the Image to Continue