Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Carlos Martiel

Performance artist

New York and Havana


Instagram @martielcarlos

My artistic practice focuses on creating performative works that utilize my body, supporting conceptual elements, place, and the viewer to visualize power relations between the individual and the different contexts in which power operates.

Carlos Martiel’s artistic practice focuses on visualizing power relations through the medium of performance. He is also interested in exploring the nature of existence, cultural traditions, and social injustices that occur inside and outside his country of origin. Martiel’s work criticizes the values on which today’s society is established, specifically the racist or xenophobic practices with which certain groups of immigrants and non-white minorities have been marginalized and oppressed. Building on histories across borders and cultures, he comments on social tensions while both embodying and challenging commonly perceived limits.

Martiel graduated in 2009 from the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts in Havana. Between 2008 and 2010, he studied in the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, directed by the artist Tania Bruguera. Martiel’s works have been included in the 57th Venice Biennale and the biennials of Sharjah, Cuenca, Casablanca, Liverpool, Pontevedra, and Havana. He has had performances at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museo La Tertulia, Cali, Columbia; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito, Ecuador; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia, Venezuela; and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan. His work is featured in public and private collections, including: the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro, to name a few.

Selected Works

A dark-skinned person stands barefoot on a sculpture that has the shape of the map of the USA that is made with anti-climb security fence spikes.
A nude dark-skinned person kneels on a wooden floor in front of an outline of North America.
A nude dark-skinned person lying on a wood floor has their feet and arms bound together behind his back by an American flag.