515 W 26th St, New York
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Martine Gutierrez: Indigenous Woman
Sep 06-Oct 20
September 6 – October 20, 2018
Reception: Thursday, September 6, 6–8pm
Letter From The Editor:
This is not a magazine about fashion, lifestyle, or celebrity. Indigenous Woman is an independent
art publication dedicated to the celebration of Mayan Indian heritage, the navigation of
contemporary indigeneity, and the ever-evolving self-image. It is a vision, an overture, a
The word “indigenous” here is used to refer to native cultures from a particular region, but also
as a synonym for the natural and innate. It signifies a real, authentic, native-born woman. There
was a time when I believed there was no such title for me to claim. I was driven to question how
identity is formed, expressed, valued, and weighed as a woman, as a transwoman, as a latinx
woman, as a woman of indigenous descent, as a femme artist and maker? It is nearly impossible
to arrive at any finite answers, but for me, this process of exploration is exquisitely life-affirming.
In working to convey my own fluid identity—an identity that brides the binaries of gender and
ethnicity—I aim in part to subvert cis, white, Western standards of beauty and raise questions
about inclusivity, appropriation, and consumerism. From behind long lashes and lacquered lips,
I use the fashion magazine’s glossy framework to play with perception. I employ mannequins,
advertorials, and indigenous textiles to reassert control over my own image. Mine is a practice of
full autonomy—all photography, modeling, styling, makeup, hair, lighting, graphic design, and
product design I have executed myself.
Indigenous Woman marries the traditional to the contemporary, the native to the post-colonial,
and the marginalized to the mainstream in the pursuit of genuine selfhood, revealing cultural
inequities along the way. This is a quest for identity. Of my own specifically, yes, but by digging
my pretty, painted nails deeply into the dirt of my own image I am also probing the depths for
some understanding of identity as a social construction.
It is also my ambition to forge a connection between the art world and my community. While
it is my desire for Indigenous Woman to provide some sustenance for my fellow millennial nonbinary
transwomen of color, I sincerely hope that all audiences will find the work compelling
and captivating. I believe it is possible to create an empathetic and supportive society, but it
requires that we all educate ourselves, that we learn to be allies and activists who understand our
own privilege. Mutual understanding has the power to change the world.
Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989 Berkeley, CA) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of
Design in 2012. She draws from eclectic media, acting as subject, artist and muse. Through
performance, photography and film, Gutierrez documents her personal transformations by
embodying various imagined personas. Gutierrez has been included in exhibitions at Arnot
Art Museum, Elmira, NY Lowe Gallery at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY MOCA GA,
Atlanta, GA and Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA. Recent solo exhibitions
include Martine Gutierrez: True Story at Boston University Art Gallery and WE & THEM & ME
at Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh in North Carolina.
For press inquiries, please contact Bridget Casey at email@example.com or 212-397-0742.