Charles Martin

cmartinfoto@gmail.com United States


CHARLES MARTIN is a photographer, filmmaker, writer and past chair of Comparative Literature at Queens College-City University of New York. Awarded a Fellowship at The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University, he spends Fall 2024 in residency at work on a book of photography and text, “Optical Thinking.” His film, Ed Clark: A Brush with Success (2006), is currently offered until 1 September 2024, as part of the exhibition, “Ed Clark,” at Turner Contemporary, Margate, United Kingdom.

Martin has been included in group photo shows at the Museum of Modern Art (NY) and a MoMA travelling show to Spain, Italy and Ireland; Museum of the City of São Paulo (Brazil), Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Leica Gallery (NY) and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Solo exhibitions include Museu Histórico e Artístico do Maranhão (São Luís do Maranhão, Brazil), the Musée Public National d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Algiers, Algeria), Musée de la Halle St. Pierre (Paris) and Alice Austen House Museum (Staten Island, NY). Martin exhibits frequently in New York where, at June Kelly Gallery, he has had eight solo shows. At Global Vision Gallery, Brooklyn, April-May 2024, his photography was the inaugural exhibition. In Brazil he has exhibited also in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Cuiabá, Mato Grosso.

Monographs include Because of Algiers (2013) and Ferryboat (2000); he has been Artist in Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock; his photo website is CHARLES MARTIN UMAXXI.

Away from photography, in 2022 Martin was awarded—by the Academia Ludovicense de Letras, São Luís do Maranhão—the Comenda "Maria Firmina," (Medal of Honor and Diploma) for advancing interest in author Maria Firmina dos Reis, her work, and the culture of the State of Maranhão, Brazil—particularly through his introduction, “Uma Rara Visão Livre,” to the 1988 (3rd) edition of Maria Firmina’s novel Úrsula. That essay and edition focused attention on Maria Firmina, an early black novelist of Brazil, whose work finally has been recognized as ground-breaking and importantly innovative despite being largely overlooked upon its publication (1859) and many subsequent years.

Martin has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tinker Foundation, Yale University, the Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, the City University of New York, and West Virginia University. In 1982, he was a United States delegate to III Congresso de Cultura Negra das Américas (Third Congress of Black Cultures in the Americas), organized by Abdias Nascimento and hosted by Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) [Pontifical Catholic University].

Martin is fluent in Portuguese and French.

For videos: visit UMAXXI, his YouTube channel.