In 2012 Welch won New Zealand’s prestigious biennial Adam Portraiture Award; having been a finalist twice (in 2008 as well as 2 years earlier in 2006 where he was not only a finalist but also he was acknowledged with the People’s Choice Award.)
Self taught, Marty (as he prefers to be known) cites influences such as Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud, but his work does not share their same fascination with the grotesque and the traumatic. Rather, Marty’s work is characterised by his intense fascination with people, whom he portrays with great humanity.
Natural expression and alternating stylistic approaches, depending on each subject, characterise Welch’s portraits which consistently present a “warts and all” image. “My engine is always running,” he says. “I ask my subjects to tell me the essence of their personality.”
Marty is featured in Richard Wolfe’s book New Zealand Portraits.