To understand the title of Marty Baptist’s latest body of work, you need to understand a little bit about tulips.
Tulips are as quintessentially Dutch as eating brownies and laughing your ass off in Vondelpark or cycling along picturesque canals, and there was a brief period in history (way back in the 1600s) when the appetite for the humble flower was insatiable. ‘Tulip mania’ went down during the Dutch Golden Age, when prices for the ‘’fashionable’ flower bulbs soared to insanely high levels for three years straight—until overnight, prices crashed dramatically (sounding familiar?). Although it didn’t wreak the kind of financial havoc that, say, a cryptocurrency collapse to the tune of $32 billion in the year 2022 would, the strange phenomenon of ‘tulip mania’ is now often used to refer to any kind of large economic bubble.
Marty Baptist’s new body of work, TULIP MANIA, is also quintessentially Marty Baptist; exploring the problems of human existence, and asking us to question the choices we make in our daily lives. In his new show, opening at At The Above gallery in Melbourne on the 25th of November, Baptist explores the concept of ‘tulip mania’ and its relevance with the current times, be that the art market, NFTs, cryptocurrencies and all things consumable.
Inspired by chance encounters, late nights on the street, early mornings on the beach, overheard conversations, bar room chatter, and confused text message conversations, Baptist’s paintings feature loose pop culture references and links to his upbringing as a skateboarder and street artist. Though his designs have found themselves on street posters and plastered across skateboards and t-shirts in Melbourne before, this will be Baptist’s very first gallery show in the city. All the more reason to get down to At The Above at 198 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy for the show opening on the 25th of November. See you there.
TULIP MANIA opening: 25th November
Open 25th November – 11th December
Thursday – Sunday 11 am – 5pm, Monday – Wednesday by appointment.