Joshua Gutierrez Interview - The Hopper Prize

Joshua Gutierrez

Joshua Gutierrez discusses alternative photographic processes, working on multiple projects simultaneously, the rewards that come from moving between ideas & Instagram location tags as pocketable, virtual queer spaces

How did you get into making art?

Quite frankly, I think that I stumbled into a studio practice by way of the photography classes that I took in college. At the time, art making certainly wasn’t something that I had planned to make the cornerstone of my studies but it took this unexpected, unyielding hold of me. Even if I failed to articulate why I was so taken with the experience of art making at that time, I knew that it was something that I wanted to become a constant in my life. Although I have the privilege of retrospection and a tad more experience now, I still sometimes feel new to it all. In that way, I’m grateful that there are so many things left to learn, worlds to uncover, and experiences to be had that will help shape my future practice.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently in the nascent, sketching-research stages of some different ideas. Although I’m far from harnessing the full potential of a material or process-based practice, I’ve always been attracted to historical/alternative photographic processes and installation work – so I’m hoping to see some movement there. Additionally, I’m still very much interested in using Instagram as a (virtual) site of photographic fieldwork.

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

I think that the new work is an extension of Seeing Being Seen – which is beginning to reveal itself in phases. Due to the pandemic, it’s hard to maintain the same approach (portraiture) so I’m spending more time with the notion that Instagram location tags can serve as pocketable, virtual queer spaces.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I tend to work on multiple projects simultaneously. I find that moving between ideas is ultimately the most fruitful for me, each feeds into the other and I’m able to pause if I need the clarity that sometimes only time and distance can provide. In terms of approach, some work is made through more intuitive means while other ideas might arrive more fully formed or emerge process first.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

A typical day in the studio involves some sort of combination of coffee, music, cameras, and computer screens.

Who are your favorite artists?

To name a few: Sophie Calle Felix Gonzalez-Torres Oscar Muñoz Catherine Opie Christian Boltanski Jess T. Dugan Yoko Ono Alessandra Sanguinetti Peter Hujar Brie Ruais Ann Hamilton Rineke Dijkstra

Where do you go to discover new artists?

I am fond of the photobook format so I like to find artists through photo-eye’s bookstore. In addition to that, go tos are: Lenscratch, Aperture, and other photo specific orgs and institutions, various museum websites/online collections (basically anything with tags, love going on an art “walk” through a series of clicks), Instagram, and friends.

Joshua Gutierrez is an artist based in Phoenix who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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