b. 1989 Berkeley, CA; Lives and works in New York
Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989 Berkeley, CA) is a transdisciplinary artist, performing, writing, composing and directing elaborate narrative scenes to subvert pop-cultural tropes in the exploration of identity—both personally and collectively intersectional to the cultural discriminations of race, gender, class and nationality. Her amass of media—ranging from billboards to episodic films, music videos and renowned magazine, Indigenous Woman—produce the very conduits of advertising that sell the identities she disassembles. Her examination of advertising allows for Gutierrez to hybridize the industry’s objectification of sex with the individual’s pursuit of self, satirically undermining the aesthetics of what we know. While she manufactures ‘celebrity’ to pass as multinational corporations, it is Gutierrez herself who executes every role—simultaneously acting as subject, artist, and muse. Challenging the construction of binaries through the blurring of their borders, Gutierrez insists that gender, like all things, is entangled—and argues against the linear framework of oppositional thinking. These complicated intersections are innate to Gutierrez’s own multicultural upbringing as a first generation artist of indigenous descent and as an LGBTQ ally. Her malleable, ever-evolving self-image catalogs the confluence of seemingly disparate modes, conveying limitless potential for reinvention and reinterpretation.
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 all over the world, including the 58th Venice Biennale. In 2021, the Public Art Fund commissioned Gutierrez’s public art installation ANTI-ICON to be exhibited in bus shelters across New York City, Chicago, and Boston. In 2022, Gutierrez had a solo exhibition entitled Supremacy at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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. Gutierrez lives and works in New York.
Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, Australia (2023); Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK (2022); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO (2022); Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago, IL (2021); Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY (2020); Australian Centre for Photography, Darlinghurst, Australia (2020); Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX (2019); Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX (2020); and Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (2016), among others.
Gutierrez has been included in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC (2023); Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, NY (2023); RISD Museum (2023); The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, NY (2023); Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, OH (2023); Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, VA (2022); Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (2022); Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, PA (2022); Vincent Price Art Museum, CA (2022); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria (2021); Museum of Sex, NY (2021); MARTa Herford, Herford, Germany (2021); Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City, Mexico (2021); OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz, Austria (2021); POLYGON Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2021); K-Gold Temporary Gallery, Lesvos, Greece (2021); Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie, The Netherlands (2021); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2021); Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, FL (2021); New Britain Museum of American Art, CT (2021); Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Germany (2021); McNay Art Museum, TX (2021); Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN (2021); Hayward Gallery, London, England (2019); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, CT (2019); the New Museum, NY (2018); Arnot Art Museum, NY (2017); Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie, Netherlands; Lowe Gallery at Hofstra University, NY (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, GA (2017); Contemporary Art Museum, NC (2016); and Boston University Art Gallery, MA (2016), among others.
Her work has been acquired by the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, OH; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, ME; Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, CA; Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, VA; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, NY; Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, NH; McNay Art Museum, TX; Middlebury College Museum of Art, VT; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, IL; Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, DC; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, RI; Rockwell Museum, NY; Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, MA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Tang Museum at Skidmore College, NY; Wake Forest University Art Collection, NC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, among other institutions.
The Brooklyn Rail
Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies
by Charlotte Kent
September 1, 2023