Born in 1972, Stephen Martyn Welch is one of New Zealand’s major up and coming portraiture talents.
Self taught, Marty (as he prefers to be known) cites influences such as Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud, but his work does not share their same fascination with the grotesque and the traumatic. Rather, Marty’s work is characterised by his intense fascination with people, whom he portrays with great humanity.
He is not trying to tell a story or make his motive clear, he is showing you a split second in time that you, the viewer, can interpret as a narrative or decide where the split second will take you next. Marty has been a finalist twice in New Zealand’s prestigious biennial Adam Portraiture Awards (2006 and 2008) and he won the People’s Choice Award here in 2006.
His latest exhibition ‘Polaroids’ featured intimate, often uncompromising images in photorealistic or stylised portrayal. It was favorably reviewed in many of the country’s newspapers and magazines and Canvas magazine hailed him as one of New Zealand’s emerging hot artistic properties.