In the world that Martine Gutierrez photographs, she exists as the cynosure of global desire. Gutierrez’s self-produced (and wholly independent) art publication, Indigenous Woman (2018), disrupts and reappropriates the rarified space of cisgendered whiteness as an unquestioned ideal for bodies and figures in popular culture and iconography. As a 124-page glossy magazine, Indigenous Woman shows how deeply sexism, colorism, racism, transphobia, and other biases are embedded and ubiquitous. The images also celebrate the artist’s own autonomy and expansiveness of self.
“We are conditioned to assume that physical appearance is, in fact, identity, which is often not the case. As mixed transwomen, we’re often seen as male when we feel female, or have been assumed to be from another culture because our ethnicities are ambiguous. None of us fit neatly into one category.”
–Demi Celebrity: Martine, interview within Indigenous Woman, 2018
This exhibition of Gutierrez’s photographs, presented in the Print Study Room of the MoCP galleries, represents a body of work that has been exhibited all over the world including the 58th Venice Biennale. Later this summer, Martine Gutierrez at the Museum of Contemporary Photography will coincide with the artist’s Public Art Fund exhibition of a new series of photographs on 350 JCDecaux bus shelters across Chicago and New York City, opening in August 2021.
“Mine is a practice of full autonomy. All photography, modeling, styling, makeup, hair, lighting, graphic design, and product design, I have created myself.”
This exhibition is organized by Asha Iman Veal.
Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989, Berkeley, CA) is an artist, performer, and musician who produces elaborate narrative scenes that employ tropes of pop culture 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 every stage of the creative process—staging, lighting, makeup, costuming, modeling, and photography. 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 Brooklyn, New York.
Martine Gutierrez has been generously supported through The David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Impact Fund for Photography and the Sandquist/Kinney Foundation.