Body en thrall: Martine Gutierrez

Body en thrall: Martine Gutierrez

California-born and New York-based Martine Gutierrez is a versatile creative. The moving image and photography featured in the Body en thrall exhibition exemplifies the breadth of Gutierrez’s talents as a photographer, model, graphic designer, music producer and creative director. In each of her projects, the artist subverts the usual dominant narratives of lifestyle, celebrity and beauty with a self-reflective and non-binary vision of identity – one that is inclusive of mixed heritage and gender diversity. Gutierrez takes control of her image to question what signifies ‘a real, authentic native-born woman’.

In the series Body en thrall, featured in her self-published 124-page magazine Indigenous Woman (2018), the artist has deftly employed the imagery and slogans of the advertising industry. The series alludes to the visual ambiguities of the artist-model’s gaze vis a vis the viewer and the power play between being held captive (in thrall) and the ability to captivate (enthrall). Poised alongside mannequins, in vignettes that perpetuate elite popular culture and luxury consumption, the artist gives rise to her personal revolution as a femme artist of Guatemalan heritage.

While gender is inherently a theme in my work, I don’t see it as a boundary. The only profound boundaries are those we impose upon ourselves. …Our interpretation of these constructs is subjective and not immutable. Reality, like gender, is ambiguous because it exists fluidly.  MARTINE GUTIERREZ

Gutierrez’s profile as a musician was first realised in 2012 when her unpublished single Hands Up supported Maciek Kobielski’s short film for Yves Saint Laurent’s Cruise Collection. Since then her soundtracks have been favoured by fashion houses such as Christian Dior and Acne Studios. Gutierrez has also modelled for fashion labels Truss and Eckhaus Latta.

Allison Holland

Exhibition details
7 February – 12 June 2020

About the Artist
In 2019, Gutierrez was included in Venice Biennale 58 and her work featured on the cover of the January edition of ArtforumIndigenous Woman (2018) magazine was rated no.38 of The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade by Ben Davis, art critic for ArtNet. Gutierrez was also listed as one of 50 artists in the Artsy Vanguard 2019.

Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012, the artist has had solo exhibitions at the RISD Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth; Boston University Art Gallery; and the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at: New Britain Museum of American Art; The New Museum, New York; Hayward Gallery, London; and Kunstmuseum Bonn. Martine Gutierrez is represented by Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.

Top Image
Martine Gutierrez
Diam, 2018
All images courtesy of the Artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.