Shock Artist

There’s committing to your art…and then there’s committing to your art. Artists give up pieces of themselves all the time to make a statement, but few go to the extremes that controversial performance artist Carlos Martiel does—the man certainly goes all in for his work. Consider the time he allowed an audience to beat him with police batons…or when he sewed a business suit to his skin. A simple Internet search will turn up a litany of disturbing excisions and other ghastly acts of self-harm, but Martiel doesn’t come off as an artist who shocks for the sake of shock; his performances evoke injustices (particularly against segments of society in his homeland of Cuba) and drive home political statements with a visceral punch. Subtle, it’s not. Affecting: definitely. Martiel is the main topic of conversation at the CentralTrak UT Dallas Artists Residency, 800 Exposition, during their “Next Topic” discussion on Thursday, February 5 at 8 p.m. Admission is free for the event, which precedes Martiel’s live performance piece Ruin at Central Trak at 5 p.m. Saturday. See for more.
Sat., Feb. 7, 8 p.m., 2015
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Jennifer Davis-Lamm