Steve Turner presents Peso, the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition by Carlos Martiel. The exhibition features recent works which encompass photography, video, sculpture, drawing, installation and performance.
For the first time, Martiel has created performance works expressly for the video format, something that he intends to pursue more in the future. While each work is visually distinct from the others, all bear Martiel’s unmistakable vocabulary in which his bodily presence, that of a queer Afro-Latino man, is highlighted within a context of cultural violence. As suggested by the exhibition’s title, each work conveys conflicting interactions with weight. In some, a heavy object is carried or dragged by Martiel; in one, Martiel’s body is the weight that requires the support of others, and in another, a once light American flag is weighed down by the density of dry blood. According to Martiel, “weight is more than mere gravity holding our bodies down; it is the incontrovertible force that binds, traverses and crushes our flesh into submission, alienation or dependency. It exists in our public monuments, in corpses hanging from trees, in shackles and in banners. It exists in our history and it is present in 2022.”
During the exhibition’s opening on October 1, 2022, Martiel will perform his durational piece Time for the first time. The performance will be recorded and presented as a video during the run of the exhibition.
Carlos Martiel (born 1989, Havana) graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, (San Alejandro), Havana (2009) and has been creating highly distinctive works ever since. They have been included in the Lanzarote Biennial, Biennial of the Americas; Vancouver Biennale; Sharjah Biennial; Cuenca Biennial; Venice Biennale; Casablanca Biennale; Biennial “La Otra”, Bogota; Liverpool Biennial; Pontevedra Biennial, Spain; and the Havana Biennial. He has presented performances at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; La Tertulia Museum, Cali; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan. He has received several awards, including the Grants to Artists from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, 2021; The Franklin Furnace Fund, New York, 2016; CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award, Miami, 2014 and Arte Laguna, Venice, 2013. His work has been exhibited at the São Paulo Museum of Art; the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; Zisa Zona Arti Contemporanea, Palermo; Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami; Benaki Museum, Athens and the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana. His works are in The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Pérez Art Museum, Miami and the Museu de Arte do Rio. Martiel lives and works in New York and Mexico City.
Courtesy of the artist and Steve Turner, Los Angeles