Mexican - American, Zapotec textile artist Porfirio Gutierrez was born and raised in the richly historic Zapotec textile community of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. His life’s work has been reviving and preserving traditional Zapotec natural dyeing techniques, with a focus on reinterpreting traditional textiles and materials.
Living and working in both California, United Estates, and Oaxaca, Mexico Gutíerrez’s practice brings awareness to a profound spiritual belief that nature is a living being, sacred, and divine. His expression in the arts resolves the apparent conflict between ancient and modern – between a hands-on life where one creates everything from the food one eats to the clothes one wears, versus an urban life where needs are met through complex systems of interacting mechanisms. He resolves the apparent dichotomy by integrating, reinterpreting, and incorporating the symbols and natural materials that have held meaning for thousands of years.
The story of his art has been told in The New York Times and on PBS. He has been featured in Vogue Australia and American Indian, Magazine of Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. In 2015, Porfirio received the Smithsonian Institute Artist in Leadership fellowship award, his work is in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Fomento Cultural Banamex, and the National Museum of American Indian Smithsonian Institution. A selection of the Gutiérrez dye materials was documented and added to Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection, the world-renowned archive of artist materials.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards