david cata sews portraits of his family into the palm of his hand david cata sews portraits of his family into the palm of his hand
jan 10, 2014

david cata sews portraits of his family into the palm of his hand

david cata sews portraits of his family into the palm of his hand
all images courtesy of david catá




following a hat-tip from one of our readers who commented on our popular feature of eliza bennett’s self-inflicted sculpture, designboom was led to the work of spanish artist david catá who also uses his body as a canvas for writing an autobiographical diary. the performance cum-sculptural self-inflicted pieces that make up the series ‘a flor de piel’ are portraits of the faces of people who have left their mark on the artist’s life — family, friends, partners and teachers — sewn into the palm of his hand. ‘their lives have been interwoven with mine to build my history’ catá says, ‘every moment lived stays in the memory to finally be forgotten. somehow, this fact is painful, since there are only material things and traces that people leave behind.’ the woven flesh work establishes a symbiosis between union, separation, pain and love — a performatic and symbolic action of loss, and preserves the memories through memorial, corporal and videographic footprints.


watch the video below to see catá at work, stitching his hand with the portraits of his loved ones:



mi vida a flor de piel
video courtesy of david catá



mi vida a flor de piel, 2013



‘mi novia tamara’



‘mi primer profesor de fotografia, manuel sendon’



‘mi prima anita’



‘mi hermano javi’



‘abuelo cata’



‘mi profesor de aceordeon, lino’



‘mi prima maria’



a flor de piel, abuelo raimundo
video courtesy of david catá



  • disgusting… so much time wasted in one’s hand… so many things to do in this world, and he does what? stitch his hands. very clever.

    Bruno de Paris says:
  • Boetti used needle and thread also, but that was Art. The next thing we’ll be seeing is someone using a sewing machine on their legs.

    claudia says:
  • self mutilation is not art..ay least not in my book

    fred rehak says:
  • What’s next: climbing on the cross? As Kafka said: “I always wanted you to admire me for my suffering.” I can’t wait to catch Catá’s next scab exhibition. And this is not even original, the old lady of a week or so ago, was way ahead of him.

    peen says:
  • It would be nice to sew Miley Cyrus on my right hand and then jerk off! I think I’ll do it tonight.

    Q says:
  • looks nice, but you should sew something else… and instead of ripping the face off your hand you should cut the fibres. wouldnt look so nasty…

    siadebisi says:
  • i like it, and its not a mutilation, i think doing a tattoo its more pain full, well done david

    cegonzdele says:
  • The idea here is a TOTAL FAIL. However, it does look very cool to keep the actual thread embedded into the skin. Once the thread is separated, “the art” really looks like a horrible scar in oppose to the actual fleshly sketch of whomever. Also, everbody knows this is a painful process. Therefore, one can assume each artist has taken a pain reliever pill, in advance, which is not so ballsy BECAUSE doing this type of art without medication is REAL entertainment!

    Lux says:
  • Creeps me out while I also secretly love it. Bravo.

    christine says:
  • He should do it on his pen!s, now “that”would be challenging… … …

    Leeya says:

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