New York’s Museo del Barrio and Mexican tequila brand Maestro Dobel have announced Havana-born installation and performance artist Carlos Martiel as the first winner of the newly established Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize. Martiel, who is based in Harlem, will receive a $50,000 grant and a solo exhibition of his work, to take place in El Museo del Barrio’s multidisciplinary space Room 110 in the spring of 2024. The prize, which is to be awarded biannually, is aimed at elevating the work of Latinx artists, who have been historically underrepresented in the art world, despite the fact that 62 million US citizens, or nearly 19 percent of the country’s population, are of Hispanic descent according to the 2020 US census.
“On behalf of our jury, I am delighted to announce Carlos Martiel as the recipient of the 2023 Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize,” said Patrick Charpenel, executive director of El Museo del Barrio, in a statement. “Martiel’s work beautifully explores the complexity and nuance of racism and racialization, gender, immigration, and the legacy of colonialism in the Americas. We are grateful for our partnership with Maestro Dobel Tequila, who shares our commitment to supporting Latinx artists in the United States.”
Martiel is known for durational performance works exploring issues of racism, systems of oppression, and violence targeting people of color. A number of these works find him testing the limits of his own body, which he sometimes binds with ropes or chains, against which he then strains. His work has appeared in the 2019 Sharjah Biennial, the 2017 Venice Biennale, and several iterations of the Havana Biennial.
“I am honored to have been selected as the inaugural winner of the Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize, an award that celebrates my community and stresses the crucial role of Latinx art in the creative world,” said Martiel in a statement. “Through this prize, I am looking forward to producing new work that will continue to drive conversations on subjects that matter and shine a light on the importance of representation.”
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