Martine Gutierrez is an artist, performer, and musician who produces elaborate narrative scenes that employ pop culture tropes in order to explore the complexity, fluidity and nuances of both personal and collective identity in terms of race, gender, class, indigeneity, and culture.
Working across performance, photography and film, Gutierrez simultaneously acts as subject, artist and muse. She asserts control over her own image by executing each stage of the creative process herself, including staging, lighting, makeup, costuming, modelling and photography.
Gutierrez’s earlier bodies of work—Real Doll (2013), Girl Friends (2014) and Line Up (2014)— explore gender, intimacy and fantasy, often incorporating mannequins as ambiguous characters in constantly shifting realities. Her semi-autobiographical film, Martine Part I – IX (2012 – 2016), is a meditation on personal transformation that begun while she was an undergraduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, and was finished years later as a young artist in New York City.
The episodic video work follows the eponymous character from Providence to New York via Central America and the Caribbean, communing with urban architecture and natural elements such as sand, water and air. Martine negotiates the permanent and the fleeting, moving from place to place, as she journeys to self-discovery.
In 2018, Gutierrez produced Indigenous Woman, a 124-page magazine replete with fashion spreads, product advertisements and a Letter from the Editor all dedicated, as Gutierrez describes it, to “the celebration of Mayan Indian heritage, the navigation of contemporary indigeneity and the ever-evolving self-image.” Through the style and construct of the glossy magazine, Gutierrez subverts conventional ideals of beauty to reveal how deeply sexism, racism, transphobia and other biases are embedded in our culture. This body of work has been exhibited internationally, including at the 58th Venice Biennale.
Gutierrez received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. She is also a published musician and has produced several commercial videos.
Her work has been featured in several museum exhibitions, including the Australian Centre for Photography’s Martine Gutierrez Body en Thrall (2020), the Museum of Modern Art Fort Wo r t h’s FOCUS: Martine Gutierrez (2019), and the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh’s WE & THEM & ME (2016).
Gutierrez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.