Playing with Dolls

An Artist’s Portrayal of Life-Size Sex Dolls

24-year-old artist and Saint Laurent muse Martín Gutierrez explores the life-size sex doll phenomenon through a multi-faceted exhibit entitled Martin(e).

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Martín Gutierrez is a multi-faceted artist – he’s a photographer, choreographer, music producer. So when Saint Laurent Paris tapped the young RISD graduate’s first unreleased single Hands Up for its 2012 Cruise Collection video, the fashion house started a trend for other designers, including Christian Dior and Acne, to follow. Now 24 years-old, Gutierrez is showcasing his versatility in his first solo exhibit, including forms of performance, film, and photography. Through each medium, the artist questions proprieties of gender, class, and sexuality. In the three-part video collection, Martine Pt. 1-3, Gutierrez embodies his female alter-ego through “hypnotic, dream-like scenes.” Clad in long, flowing hair, with accentuated make-up, and loose dresses, the performance pieces allow Martín (pronounced Martine, leading to the confusion between the Guatemalan-American artist and the common name for a young French girl), to explore subjects of “ennui and apathy.” Also on display is Gutierrez’s photography series Real Dolls, which includes 16 images of four Gutierrez-created doll personas: Ebony, Lux, Mimi, and Raquel.  While the women in the photographs appear plastic and doll-like, Gutierrez himself actually embodies the life-size sex dolls. Creating a dichotomy between sexuality and domesticity, the artist explores the variability of gender. Presenting lace, pleather, silk lingerie, and stripper-like platforms amongst a seemingly quaint and atypical suburban home, Real Dolls ambiguously expresses “the tension between gesture, posture and expression while simultaneously infiltrating and destabilizing pristine suburban culture.” On exhibit at the Ryan Lee gallery in Chelsea through August 16th, Gutierrez’s retrospective brilliantly accomplishes his goal of blurring preconceived notions of gender and sex. See highlights of the exhibit.

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Luxx 1

Luxx 1

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Luxx 2

Luxx 2

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Luxx 3

Luxx 3

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Luxx 4

Luxx 4

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Mimi 1

Mimi 1

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Mimi 2

Mimi 2

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Mimi 4

Mimi 4

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Ebony

Ebony

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Ebony 1

Ebony 1

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Ebony 3

Ebony 3.

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Raquel

Raquel

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Raquel 2

Raquel 2

Martín Gutierrez/Ryan Lee Gallery

Raquel 4

Raquel 4