Kris Martin (Belgian, b.1972) is an installation artist, sculptor, and photographer. He uses various materials in his artwork, including ceramic, stone, and metal, as well as found objects. Martin's works address the lofty themes of life and death, in the tradition of Memento mori, using art to remind people of their mortality.
Martin’s 2003 piece titled Mandi III is an installation of an airport information board, specially made for the artist without letters or numbers on its front, leaving only the clicking sounds of its shifting plates. 100 Years, crafted in 2004, is a steel ball set to explode in exactly 100 years when the timer inside detonates, which the artist uses to represent the time limit on human life. Martin's Vase from 2005 is a tall, broken Chinese porcelain vase which has been smashed and glued together several times by the artist, who repeats this process every time the piece changes hands or locations.
In 2006, Martin's solo exhibition at Johann König in Berlin featured a mechanical press as it operated for its final time, printing the words "Et Tu," on paper, which Martin then hung on a wall with black nails. Perhaps his most famous piece of artwork is entitled Still Alive, which the artist made by utilizing 3-D x-ray technology to form a bronze replica of his own skull. Martin has left golden nails permanently imbedded in the floors of museums, titled "Golden Spike," which he uses to symbolize his major life accomplishments. Martin's use of performance in his artwork sets him apart, as most of his pieces require work on behalf of the artist or the audience in order to be seen in its entirety.
In 2007, Martin’s art showed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Martin has also held several solo exhibitions at the White Cube in London, UK, Sies + Höke in Düsseldorf, Germany, and Marc Foxx in Los Angeles, CA. He has lectured at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Martin lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.