NEW YORK, NY.- Ryan Lee
presents Martin(e), an exhibition by Martín Gutierrez, the first career solo exhibition of the multifaceted artist. For this exhibition, Gutierrez has created a self-aware and psychologically probing body of work that includes performance, photography and video in response to his declaration of personal transformation that upends conventions of race, sexuality, gender, and class.
Gutierrezs chromatically somber videos in three parts, entitled Martine Pt. 1-3, explore the subjects of ennui and apathy by interlacing vignettes, which weave in and out of hypnotic, dream-likes scenes, with reality, revealing a melancholic quest for survival that draws equivocally from the genres of architecture, history and popular culture. Gutierrez subverts his visible struggle with traditional values in a recognizable, post-apocalyptic world that balances individual concerns against larger social issues.
I think of my work as documentations of transformation and performance. While gender is undoubtedly always a question in my work, I dont see it as a boundary. Martín Gutierrez
Included in the exhibition is a series of 16 photographs titled Real Dolls where Gutierrez assumes the roles of Ebony, Luxx, Mimi and Raquel, four doll personas he created and performed after researching the Real Doll phenomenon of life-size sex dolls. The compositions are orchestrated to mirror each dolls owners desires, combining beauty with the bizarre, elegance with the extreme, and camp with the classical as Gutierrez is cast as an artificial female pawn, solitarily confined to domestic complacency. Humor, tragedy and calculation reveal a brutally honest fascination with the tension between gesture, posture and expression while simultaneously infiltrating and destabilizing pristine suburban culture. The overall presentation is surreal and deliberately ambiguous. The retinue of strange characters may be real or simply fantasies depending on the viewers imagination.
In all of these works, Gutierrez not only stars, but also writes, directs, produces, styles and shoots himself
as well as features his own original music, assuming complete control over his work.
Born in Berkeley, California to an American mother and Guatemalan father, Martín Gutierrez had a bicoastal upbringing in the Bay Area and central Vermont. With a broad foundation in art, theater, music and dance, Martín pursued fine arts, graduating with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2012 with a BFA in Printmaking. A fluid identity since childhood has allowed Martín to freely explore diverse facets of self. As set designer, makeup artist, costume designer, cameraman and model behind the lens, Martín has creative control and knowledge of every aspect. As part of his practice, he composes and records original music, further articulating his video environments.
Saint Laurent Paris selected his first unreleased single, Hands Up, for their Cruise Collection 2012 video editorial. Martíns music has been featured by several other fashion houses including Christian Dior and Acne. His first EP is expected to be released in 2013.