Bio of David Bunn Martine
orn in 1960 in Southampton, Long Island, New York, David Martine is Nednai-Chiricahua Apache and Shinnecock/Montauk from his mother Marjorie, a classically trained opera and concert singer. His father, Thomas Siklos is a Hungarian music director, organist and voice teacher. He comes from an artistic family for several generations. Living on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, David absorbed the history of his heritage, both the ancient Algonquian cultures from the New England woodland as well as the Apache of Arizona and New Mexico. He has also studied music inspired by his father.
David’s family history, learned from his grandmother by whom he was raised, is very rich. His Shinnecock great-grandfather, Charles Sumner Bunn, was a master wood-carver of shore-bird decoys and was a professional guide and hunter. Charles’ father was a whaler who sailed around the world participating in the New England whaling industry which flourished in the early 19th century. David’s uncle was a commercial artist, wood-carver and photographer. David’s Hungarian grandfather, Arpad Siklos, was a famous architect who designed the Vatican Embassy in Budapest and was knighted by the Pope in the Order of Saint Sylvester.
His Chiricahua Apache ancestors participated in the Apache wars with the United States and Mexico. He is related to famous chiefs Victorio and Mangas Coloradas, and his grandfather, Charles Martine, Jr. was held a prisoner of war with Geronimo, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma until 1913. One Apache great-grandfather was Chin-Chee, a warrior with Geronimo’s band who was killed while fighting the U.S. Cavalry before final surrender. His other great-grandfather, Martine, was U.S. Army Apache Scout who helped persuade Geronimo to surrender in 1886.
Martine began drawing and selling portraits of Indian chiefs, as well as sailing ships, and animals at an early age at the family’s gift shop in Southampton, New York. Later he began oil painting in high school, specializing in portraits, and murals. In college at the University of Oklahoma, obtaining a degree in advertising design, David studied many different disciplines – product design, painting, and sculpture and while at the Institute for American Indian Arts studied jewelry making, sculpture, and museum science. After receiving a Masters Degree in Art Education from Central State University, he taught for a time as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York.
Having in recent years received a Joan Mitchell award, an Andy Warhol Research Fellowship and a Robert Rauschenberg Residency; he has diversified his artistic interests. Currently, Director/Curator of the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum, and Chairperson of AMERINDA, Martine, is writing a book on the history of the New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement, and has completed many mural and portrait commissions, book illustrations, large scale wood sculptures, and multi-media pieces. David’s earliest artistic influences were members of his own family. Later, he learned to appreciate the influence of distant relative Chiricahua Apache artist and sculptor, Allan Houser (Haozous), Norman Rockwell, the Wyeths and Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. Martine’s work is based on narrative realism, sometimes bordering on impressionism.