Friday Five With Shantell Martin
Shantell Martin

Photo: Manolo Campion

Shantell Martin is a visual artist best known for her large scale, black-and-white drawings and collaborations with artists and institutions, including Kendrick Lamar, the New York City Ballet, Tiffany & Co., Puma, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA. Her current retrospective, NEW/NOW, is on exhibit at The New Britain Museum of Art through April 18, 2021. Shantell is passionate about advocating for Artist’s Rights and championing the work of other artists, while also exploring how art, design and product can work with one another to create accessible everyday experiences. These passions are the foundation and the inspiration behind her new collection, Line by Shantell Martin with The Whitney Shop. Her first art book is currently available in collaboration with HENI publishing, LINES, with text by Katharine Stout and an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Shantell lives in Jersey City with her partner and their dog, Blanche. She’s currently spending her days filming her new YouTube series, Provenance, which brings audiences directly into her studio/archive, going into detail about her artistic process and the inspiration behind prior projects.

Today Shantell is joining us for Friday Five!


Photo: Liz Clayman

1. Che-Wei Wang & Taylor Levy of CW & T
They are so inventive and self-reliant. They make really smart, clean design choices, and everything they make I want to own.

Aukland Art Gallery

Photo courtesy Aukland Art Gallery

2. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
I was able to visit the Auckland Art Gallery in 2019, and it absolutely blew me away. The collection of artworks plot a visual history of New Zealand. I was delighted by their outstanding collection of works by Māori and Pacific Island artists that were the front and center experience there, and yet they also celebrate international artists from all over the world.

textile art

Photo courtesy Kennedy Yanko

3. Kennedy Yanko
Kennedy Yanko’s work is astounding. It’s both intimate and cinematic and involves a lot of intuitive design that creates a very deep impact on the audience and the space it inhabits. This piece, Crow, is from her collection “Because It’s In My Blood”. The copper and paint skin pieces – luminescent bodies with languid, alive material housed within them – invite viewers to intimately examine and reexamine them.

three bookcovers

Photo courtesy Penguin Classics UK

4. Penguin Classics Science Fiction Series
I suffer from dyslexia, so reading has always been really hard for me. But this year, I made a goal to read at least one book a month. I loved receiving the new Penguin Classics Science Fiction Series. The collection includes ten books written by authors from all around the world, all unified by refreshingly minimal line drawings, sparse designs, monochromatic color schemes and purple spines. It brings together pioneers like Lovecraft and Zamyatin, New Wave classics by Lem and Vonnegut and a plethora of different exciting sub-genres, including dystopia, satire, slipstream and speculative fiction. Some covers even feature works by line drawing virtuosos like Le Corbusier, Hans Arp, Picasso and Saul Steinberg.

Toronto skyline

Photo: Shantell Martin

5. Toronto
It’s super odd to me that it’s been almost a year since I was last on a plane and traveled outside of the US. I’m definitely beginning to feel a bit… claustrophobic, and dreaming of traveling to my favorite cities across the globe. One of my favorite places is Toronto. It’s such a quick flight from New York, and yet feels completely different. Closer to London or Auckland even. I’ve done quite a few projects there and something about the city really inspires me creatively and feels familiar.

Work by Shantell Martin:

art installation

The May Room \\\ Photo: Steven Simione

red chair

New/Now \\\ Photo: NBMAA


NYCB \\\ Photo: Roy Rochlin

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.