Image: Martine Gutierrez, Queer Rage, Swimming Lessons, p75 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. (c) Martine Gutierrez; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Q&A with Martine Gutierrez


Martine Gutierrez is a New York based artist, performer, writer and musician who constructs elaborate narrative scenes to subvert pop cultural tropes in the exploration of identity, both personal and collective intersectional to race, gender, class, indigeneity and culture.

Image: Left: Martine Gutierrez, Pool, 2017. Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie, postcard, 2019. Right: The Big Picture installed at RYAN LEE Gallery, 2021, artist in front of Body En Thrall p122-123 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. Courtesy of RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Hello, please start by telling us something about yourself that is not in your bio.

Everything’s an illusion, just a convincing point of perspective. I rarely give away my edges, but each new body of work is a chance to reveal a little more.

Image: Artist in costume visiting Indigenous Woman at RYAN LEE Gallery, 2018. Photographed by Andy Boyce; Courtesy of the artist.

Can you explain your artistic processes to us (research, methods, processes, rituals, etc)? Has this
changed over time?

I always plan on being chaotic, so I’ll start by making a costume or picking a location, but will often show up uninvited or force a venue’s orientation to change.


Permission, especially in public spaces, is something I never ask for.

Image: Artist talk at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, 2019.

As an artist/creative, where do you draw inspiration for your work from?

I am burdened with a deep nostalgia for the time I grew up in. For a while I refused to participate in culture, only listening to old music, watching old movies, collecting old magazines––I don’t know if things were better or if everything got worse.

Image: Left: Indigenous Woman installed at RYAN LEE Gallery, 2018. Right: Indigenous Woman at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Special Collections, New York, NY.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on so far?

Indigenous Woman Magazine. It has propelled me onto the world stage in a way I never could have imagined.

Image: Left: Installation view, 2019, artist in front of Body En Thrall p114-115 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. Right: Infinite Identities: Photography in the Age of Sharing installed at Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam, NL, 2019.

What does the PHOTO 2022 theme ‘Being Human’ mean to you?

We have never lived in such a self-referential metaverse, as we do now––where content is constantly recontextualized and reposted.

I can print an installation image from The Modern, Fort Worth, and simultaneously exhibit it in a show at Huis Marseille, in Amsterdam.

Technology is changing what it means to share and what it means to be human. The ancestral lines and divides for those of us whose heritage has been erased by genocide can be reinvented. Tradition can be a customizable practice.



Image: FOCUS: Martine Gutierrez installed at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, 2019.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing most?

I’m never not working. I live art, it’s how I survive this world.

Image courtesy the artist.