Martin Eaton, pictured (photo by Caleb Lee Adams)

Written by Les Freeman

The work on display at My Gallery NYC for Tomorrow’s Vig starting this Monday is impressive. Don’t get me wrong. There is real talent on display amongst the nine artist collaborators and Williamsburg author and art director, Martin Eaton. And the stories are good, too. But they speak to a different audience than me. They’re bite-sized. Digestible. Non-offensive, with a hint of an edge. They scamper up to deep themes but don’t endure long enough to explore them in depth. I understand why. This is a TikTok artform. An instagram book. It’s of this generation. Not so much of mine. 

Story: Graves

It wasn’t until a conversation with the artist that I understood his intent. Hook ‘em first. His Instagram had 45,000+ followers when this book was almost ready. Then a change to the algorithm cut him off from his audience. He pivoted, took a break and got the idea to make–a TV pilot. Yes, a TV pilot! This type of ambition and audacity come from a creative mind aiming far higher than a clever meme. Dropped on the sly, this new endeavor piqued my interest more than his story about a grandfather coming to terms with his mortality that was on display behind us. 

He introduces his film work by walking me through, “IT”, a short story in the exhibit about an invisible woman being introduced to the catch nets of male sexual desire; lipstick, tight dress and high heels by a warm fatherly voice. The character finds them utterly useless until their potential usefulness against the opposite sex becomes apparent. 

It’s his first Tomorrow’s Vig story being converted and will be a short animated film. I’m tickled watching his actress, shot in a Bay Ridge photostudio, enact the piece in a real-time storyboard shoot. I can see what’s going for. A mocap recording in a second phase is happening at NYU Tandon in the spring. The final character will be almost entirely transparent, though. Ambitious. And a problem I don’t envision being easily solvable on an indie budget. 

Story: IT

But this led to a conversation about the real meat of his current endeavors. His pilot, Mott & Spy. A 50-minute dramedy about four freshmen of various ethnicities at a “faux Little Ivy,” he liked to call it, in upstate New York, who resurrect a failed civil rights newspaper to fight their corrupt for-profit university as journalists. Incredibly timely subject matter.

This story I wanted to engage with and hear more about. He showed me the trailer and I was able to watch the entire episode later on his YouTube channel. I couldn’t believe the production quality. His boasting of the over 40 locations was justified. It looks high budget, flows well, is polished and I appreciated the smart writing that delves deeper and subtly into themes of class, power, corruption, sexuality and youth. He said he wants to make a smart show about college life and that’s what he’s made. When I asked about how difficult it was to write, produce and direct it on his own, he mentioned it could only have been done with the two decades of experience he had running the multinational design agency he started as a 21-year-old African-American in Minnesota.

Mott & Spy Pilot YouTube

See what I mean? The real juice. His story of growing a business amidst less than 1% diversity, expanding it to London and Prague, losing it all to the Great Recession, falling into depression, alcohol and substance abuse for years, then stopping at the cliff’s edge in his 40’s, getting sober and delivering a TV pilot, a coming book, a short film and packing a completed screenplay under his arm to hawk for a Hollywood manager this spring to help him bring his vision to the masses… (phew)


You may only have three days, but if you do get a chance to check out Tomorrow’s Vig in its short run, you’ll be entertained. For sure. But the real fireworks from this talented artist? I think they just got lit–and I can’t wait to see the boom! 

Contact The Artist

Instagram: @tomorrowsvig

YouTube: @mott-and-spy 


Tomorrow’s Vig Exhibition

Location: My Gallery NYC – 587 Franklin Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238

Dates: Opening Reception Monday March 11th and exhibition runs through Wed. March 13th

Hours: Noon-8pm

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