Porfirio Gutiérrez – Zapotec Textile Artist
Porfirio Gutiérrez was born and raised in the rich and historic Zapotec textile community of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. As a child, Gutiérrez showed profound interest in weaving and design. At age 12, he began to formally learn this practice alongside his father. His early training in traditional Zapotec designs forms the foundation for the fine art textiles that are now in demand by museums and private collectors.
A desire to expand his knowledge of Zapotec heritage, and a real concern regarding the loss of natural dyeing in his home community, motivated Gutiérrez to document and research techniques and stories of his elders. This research into heritage, art, spirituality, and the natural environment has profoundly influenced his creative life.
Gutiérrez is a tireless advocate, researcher and ethnic ambassador for the Zapotec community. He travels extensively, exhibiting his art, giving lectures and demonstrating his technique. The story of his art practice has been published in the New York Times and other major print media. Porfirio has also been featured on PBS, and has produced a documentary funded by the Smithsonian Institute.
In 2015 Gutiérrez was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be one of only four artists in the Western hemisphere to participate in their prestigious Artist In Leadership Program. A selection of the Gutiérrez family’s dye materials was documented and added to the Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection, the world-renowned archive of artist materials. His vision is to educate and share the rich textile arts of his culture while sustaining traditional practices for future generations.
To learn more, visit our Exhibitions & Awards page.