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Gutierrez, Martinefree

American, 21st century, female.

Active in Brooklyn (New York).

Born 1989, in Berkeley (California).

Mixed media artist, portraitist, video and performance artist.

Born in Berkeley, Martine Gutierrez moved with her mother to central Vermont early in her childhood. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA in Printmaking in 2012. Born male, Gutierrez has identified as a gender-fluid individual for the majority of her life, and this interest in the borderlands of the expression of gender fluidity is inherent in her visual practice. Although her work utilises a variety of media including self-portraiture, video, fashion, music, and performance art, the body and persona of the artist are at the centre of her practice.

When depicting herself in her work, Gutierrez presents a visually and sensually hyper-feminine persona in a variety of cinematic guises and implied narratives. Self-portraiture, where the artist embodies a variety of different characters is a richly explored trope in contemporary art, but Gutierrez adds depth to her work by highlighting the performative nature of gender.

Although Gutierrez is usually the focal point of the image, acting as both muse and executor of the work, she has utilised mannequins within the shoot as an accompaniment or foil to her character. This interest in dolls and mannequins extends from childhood, and the artist remembers asking for a mannequin when all of her peers were begging for iPods. For example, in the series Line Up (2014), Gutierrez poses herself among clusters of similarly dressed mannequins. The various outfits are traditionally sexy: schoolgirls, debutantes, and Leeloo from the 1997 sci-fi film The Fifth Element, a major inspiration for Gutierrez. Upon first glance it is difficult to determine which of the figures is the artist, her svelte body blends seamlessly among the dolls. This effortless shape-shifting between what we consider artificial and real, highlights how the performance of femininity can be a powerful guise, a boundary that Gutierrez crosses both gleefully and with deft visual skill.

In addition to her visually based practice, Gutierrez also writes and performs music as Martine, with her original tracks featured in videos produced by major fashion brands, including Dior, Saint Laurent Paris, and Acne Studios. She has also starred in campaigns for fashion companies, including one for Camper with fellow trans artist Hari Nef.

Group Exhibitions

2009, RISD Foundation Studies, Woods-Geary Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2010, Yestermorrow Design/Build School, 6th Annual Art Auction, Warren, VT

2011, RISD Printmaking Triennial, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2012, From This Point Forward, Gelman Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2012, Hands Up, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2012, RISD Film Animation Video Triennial, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2014, Disturbing Innocence (curated by Eric Fischl), Flag Art Foundation, New York

2014, Listen Up! (curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt and Tim Goossens), New Delhi

2015, About Face, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH

2016, LOVE, Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York

2016, Shapeshifters (curated by Tim Goossens), Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles

Solo Exhibitions

2011, Martín Gutierrez, Benson Gallery, Providence

2013, Martin(e), Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

2015, Can She Hear You, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

2015, Transcending Rhythm (curated by Rene Barilleaux), McNay Art Museum, San Antonio

2016, JEANS, a public art installation on a billboard at 9th Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan, organised by International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York

2016, True Story, Boston University Art Gallery, Boston

2016, WE & THEM & ME, Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh

2017, Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome

2017, Martine Part I–IX, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Hanover (Hood MA, Dartmouth College)

Poughkeepsie (Frances Loeb Mus., Vassar College)

Bibliography