Skip to main content

Martine Gutierrez and Three New Acquisitions

Martine Gutierrez artwork, Queer Rage
Martine Gutierrez, Queer Rage, Imagine Life-Size, and I’m Tyra, p66-67, from Indigenous Woman, 2018, printed 2020, chromogenic color print mounted on Sintra, 43 1/8 × 64 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2020.76.

Crystal Bridges is excited to bring into the collection three works by artist Martine Gutierrez: Girl Friends (Rosella & Palma) (2014), Queer Rage, Imagine Life-Size, and I’m Tyra, p66-67, from Indigenous Woman (2018), and Demons, Xochiquetzal ‘Flower Quetzal Feather,’ p95, from Indigenous Woman (2018).

Girl Friends (Rosella and Palma)

In Girl Friends (Rosella and Palma), Gutierrez presents black-and-white images of herself and a mannequin, staged to look like old Hollywood film stills of two starlets. Each image depicts layers of symbolism in larger-than-life settings, from idyllic gardens to grand mansions. In fact, the artist draws inspiration from Cindy Sherman’s Film Stills (1977-80), expanding on stereotypes of femininity found in this earlier work and echoing Sherman’s theatrical costumes, wigs, and film noir-style cinematic angles.

In this series, Gutierrez invites gender discussions using the familiar Hollywood archetype as a common starting point for deeper consideration. Her introduction of the “perfect woman” (the mannequin) and herself (the female-identifying transgender starlet) adds another layer of commentary to discussions around gender roles, attraction, and performance into this conversation.

Queer Rage, Imagine Life-Size, and I’m Tyra, p66-67 from Indigenous Woman 

Taking the form of a fashion shoot, Gutierrez photographed herself seated against a lush, green backdrop. When the image first appeared in a fashion magazine of her own design, Gutierrez listed the designers of all the clothing she was wearing, including brands like Versace, Vivienne Westwood, and Prada alongside Goodwill. 

Queer Rage, Imagine Life-Size, and I’m Tyra, p66-67 from Indigenous Woman looks at how mainstream brands appropriate Indigenous cultures and thrust them into a clunky mishmash without regard for tradition or context. Here, much of Gutierrez’s outfit is composed of items from major fashion labels that borrow from Indigenous traditions. Fittingly, as Gutierrez composes the rest of her image, she incorporates crudely photoshopped exotic animals, underscoring the artificial nature of the scene.

Demons, Xochiquetzal ‘Flower Quetzal Feather,’ p95

In her Demons series, Gutierrez reimagines powerful goddesses for a twenty-first-century audience through elaborate hair and costuming. Xōchiquetzal in particular is the Aztec Goddess of youthful beauty, fertility, crafts, and female sexuality, among other things. Gutierrez adorns herself with pom-poms and handcrafted bracelets to showcase her association with traditional crafts, but covers her face. Through the concealment of her face, Gutierrez highlights her ability to retain control over her sexuality and outward beauty―a power akin to that of a goddess.

About the Artist

Martine Gutierrez is a Brooklyn-based visual and performance artist, musician, and producer who draws from eclectic media, acting as subject, artist, and muse, documenting her personal metamorphosis into various imagined roles. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. 

Gutierrez often explores notions of beauty, identity, and the impact of pop culture in her works. She identifies as Latinx, Indigenous, and transgender, and all three of these identifiers significantly impact the relationship she has with pop culture’s ideas of beauty and help inform her work. This selection of photographs hint at the variety of ways she explores these topics. 

A published musician and producer, Gutierrez’s first unreleased single, Hands Up, was selected by Saint Laurent Paris for their Cruise Collection 2012 video editorial. Her music has since been featured by several other fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Acne Studios.



Queer Rage, Imagine Life-Size, and I’m Tyra, p66-67 from Indigenous Woman will be on view in Crystal Bridges at 10, opening July 11. The Curatorial team hopes to put the other two works on view soon.