By Siobhan Morrissey
Special to the Miami Herald
Many female artists -- including "gender fluid" Martin Gutierrez -- took center stage at galleries at Art Basel Miami Beach and satellite fairs.
Gutierrez was the focal point of the New York-based Ryan Lee Gallery at Pulse, in a beachfront tent next to the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. (S-200)
"He would say people who have known him for a long time call him 'he,'" says gallery co-owner Jeffrey Lee. "But people who met him more recently tend to use the "she" pronoun."
Gutierrez, who styles and photographs himself with mannequins, also has pop star persona "Martine" -- which is pronounced the same as his male birth name. He makes hilarious art videos using that persona.
At only 26, Gutierrez both transcends gender and the role-playing portraiture practiced by Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa Morimura, the latter who famously dressed up to look like Frida Kahlo in native Mexican costumes. Unlike Sherman and Morimura, who pose alone, Gutierrez has a cast of characters, all mannequins that have his same svelte physique and are dressed in similar fashion, with similarly-style hair and make-up.
"He so gets himself," Lee says. "To live in a world where you transcend social norms and not feel self-conscious about it -- that's amazing."
Galerie Lelong brought work by Ana Mendieta, a Cuban artist who died much too young, when she fell – or as some say, was pushed – from her 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village in 1985. She was two months shy of her 37th birthday.
Lelong has a color photograph of burning leaves forming the outline of the artist’s body and a silent film titled Volcán. Another edition of that film -- on loan from the gallery -- is also central to an upcoming exhibit at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale: Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta. The exhibition, which runs February 28 through July 3, 2016, features the largest number of films by the artist seen in any venue in the United States.
A vertical sculpture by Carl Andre, titled 34 Part-Run, can be found at the Alfonso Artiaco gallery from Naples, Italy. Andre was accused of murdering Mendieta, who was his wife of less than a year when she died. Although acquitted by a judge, Andre, like O.J. Simpson, will always have an asterisk by his name by those who believe otherwise. They point out that Mendieta, who was alone with Andre at the time of her death, had been arguing with him and planned to divorce him, he had fresh scratches on his face and she would never go near the window because she was afraid of heights.
Ferrin Contemporary of North Adams, Mass., presented three spectacular works by Puerto Rican artist Cristina Cordova (accent over the first "o") (S-113) in a curated show called "Isla Salvaje."
The show featured just three works, but they were so large and impressive they filled the space and provided enough intermittent white wall space to clean the palate and free the mind.
The ceramic and resin sculpture shown below is called "De mi Isla salvaje" (From my wild island). The work lists for $37,500.