Gabriel Martinez
Cuban-American, born 1967
Represented by up-and-coming galleries.

Gabriel Martinez deploys sly sexual provocation in his exploration of queer identity politics and the eroticized male body, primarily through photography and performance. In his words, he makes work that elicits the “strange reaction from the [viewers] when they realize they’re in a situation where they’re forced to be a voyeur.” His “Self-Portraits by Heterosexual Men” (2007), for example, presents a series photographs of men’s feet at the height of self-induced sexual pleasure. The performance piece Body and Steel (1993) was even more explicit: the audience was contained in a room with 15 exercising men wearing only jockstraps. Martinez has garnered comparisons to Vanessa Beecroft, to which he responded by parodying her work in A Slice of Heaven (1997)—a piece that featured bored-looking young men in leopard-print underwear lounging around the gallery space.

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