Porfirio Gutiérrez is a California-based textile artist and natural dyer, born and raised in the richly historic Zapotec textile community in Oaxaca, Mexico, he weaves together history, art, culture and tradtition. For Porfirio Gutiérrez, colour is a way to connect with his ancestors’ way of life.
He grew up immersed in color and surrounded by the wildness of Oaxaca’s mountains, and by the knowledge of plants for healing and for color. His life’s work has been revitalizing and preserving traditional Zapotec natural dye techniques with a focus on reinterpreting traditional textiles and materials to reflect his distinct creative vision.
Working in both Ventura, California, and Oaxaca, Gutíerrez’s art practice maintains his ancestor’s spiritual belief in nature as a living being, sacred and divine. His grounding in Zapotec traditional knowledge manifests in his textiles, reinterpreting the traditional weaving language, subverting and re-imagining the symbols and forms, morphing his textile designs toward the fractal forms and spaces of architecture and the movement he sees in cities and urban environments.
Gutíerrez is a truly American artist, moving freely across the imposed borders between his two countries, as his ancestors and many other Indigenous peoples have done for thousands of years. His designs draw deeply on his experiences of two cultures, moving between the traditional and the modern, but always reliant on the deep knowledge and spiritual dimensions of his work.