Talking to Enrique Martinez

Question: Tell me about “Welcome to the Monkey House”

When I started this drawing I wanted to make a statement on the way Christian fundamentalism had infiltrated American society and corrupted our politics and culture. I started it in the midst of the Bush presidency. By the time I was done drawing I had a veritable orgy of violence, sex, greed and mayhem on my hands…a depiction of the American dream being hijacked by the reality of human nature. In this portrayal of your standard suburban setting, nefarious Elmo’s run amok, vaguely leading a parade of happy shoppers to the next strip mall. Rabid religious fanatics bludgeon with a crucifix, and pad their pockets with cash from gullible followers. A two-headed creature falls in love with itself as it rides into town on the back of a 5-headed sensory beast. All senses are represented: sight, sound, smell, taste and fuck. And it’s all caught, lo-fi on a cell-phone camera, uploaded to youtube and experienced second hand, wi-fi on a lap-top in a Starbucks, or from the comfort of cookie-cut homes, stacked on top of each other, under the freeway overpass. Welcome to the monkey house indeed. Let’s face it, we’re nothing more than a buncha apes set on a biological mandate to be fruitful and multiply, by any means necessary. Religion, country, power, money, fame, status…whoever your god is, you’ve made her/him/it proud. Now go out there and get laid. We’ve got a planet to populate.


Welcome to the Monkey House,  2008


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