Bathing Beauty: Prints by Kristen Martincic

With the temperature outside currently being a bitter 3°f I wished and dreamed of summer; warm sun, bathing suits, and swimming pools. With these summery thoughts swimming around in my head I couldn’t help but remember the delicate paper swimsuit garments by printmaker Kristen Martincic. These works, the epitome of summertime easy living, are breathtaking in their construction, decorative patterning, and color palette. I was first introduced to Martincic’s work through a printmaking professor who brought us to her lecture at Bowdin College; this was where I quickly became fascinated by her process and the works themselves.

“..garments become a surrogate for the human form, hovering between skin and clothing, intimacy and exposure.”

Each suit is handmade by Martincic from sheer, but very strong Japanese paper. The lightweight gauzy paper is deceiving, these suits appear extremely fragile and their transparency makes them feel like skin. Their wrinkled and crumpled surfaces show signs of human touch as if they were worn many times, heightening feelings of intimacy. Martinicic’s artworks from the suits to works on paper and panel all have a whimsical quality and lightheartedness, as well as an overwhelming sense of nostalgia as their style harkens back to the early to mid 20th century. Summertime may be months away, but Martincic’s works will help me keep the wintertime blues at bay.

top: Golden U-Back suit, monotype on matsuo kozo, stitching, 2012

The Suits


Vertical pin-stripe top suit, monotype on inshu mitsumata, stitching, 2012


V-neck pin-stripe suit, monotype on matsuo kozo, stitching, 2012


Horizontal striped suit, monotype on matsuo kozo, stitching, 2012


Polka dot fade suit, monotype on matsuo kozo, stitching, 2012


Peach stripe U-back suit, woodcut, monotype on kitakata, stitching, 2007


Plum waist low-back suit, monotype on kitakata, stitching, 2008


Installation of Bathing Suits


Installation of Skin Suits

Works on Paper/Panel


Step down ladder, monotype, acrylic on matsou kozo on panel, 8x12x1 3/4in, 2012


white wave bathing cap, monotype, acrylic on matsou kozo on panel, 8x8x1 3/4in, 2011


double ladder, monotype, acrylic on mitsumata tissue on panel, 8x16x1 3/4in, 2011


line floats, monotype, acrylic on matsuo kozo on panel 8x12x 1 3/4in, 2011

{kristen martincic}


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