Baby, It’s Cold

Plenty of artists play with kitsch in subversive ways, but few do it as cleverly and irresistibly as Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz. Using tiny model figures, epoxy, and lots of Super Sculpey clay, the husband and wife create their own versions of that classic souvenir, the snow globe. Only rather than celebrating some touristy icon, theirs showcase frozen moments from a surreal dystopia, hinting at ambiguous narratives. In Traveler 78 at Night, is that an ecstatic embrace between lovers? Or is she kicking for her life, about to be dropped into the frigid waters below? Martin sculpts the darkly humorous scenes, while Muñoz photographs the finished works. At the couple’s New York gallery, PPOW, the globes sell for $10,000, the photographs for around $6,000 to $14,000. And this fall Aperture published Travelers, a new monograph of Martin and Muñoz’s photos accompanied by a Jonathan Lethem short story.