BFA, Rhode Island School of Design, 2012
About The Artist
Martine Gutierrez draws from eclectic media, acting as subject, artist, and muse, documenting her personal transformation into various imagined roles.
Through the transformation of physical space and composed self, Gutierrez investigates identity—both personal and collective. Interested in the fluidity of relationships and the role of genders within them, she employs mannequins as her counterparts to explore the diverse narratives of intimacy. Life size backdrops and props interchange with physical locations in a dialogue about reality. Integral to her work is the active participation of the viewer.
“Society perpetuates rigid constructs—fabricated dichotomies like ‘male’ vs ‘female’, ‘gay’ vs ‘straight’, ‘minority’ vs ‘white’, ‘reality’ vs ‘fantasy’, ‘dominate’ vs ‘submissive’, etc. But our interpretation of these constructs is subjective and not immutable. Reality, like gender, is ambiguous because it exists fluidly.” Acting as a conduit, she supplies a framework—through a gesture, a room, an exchange between characters—that facilitates a dialogue between the viewer and the work, one that requires the viewer to question his or her own perceptions of sex, gender, and social groups.
“I think of each work as a documentation of a transformative performance. I am interested in every facet of what it means to be ‘genuine’, especially when performing in a role society would never cast me in. I stage the scene and emote, but the viewer sees what they want to see; they can engage with the work or make passive assumptions. 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.”
Ryan Lee Gallery, New York