In this interview we spoke to artist Emilio Perez while he was expanding from painting to ceramic sculpture while at Anderson Ranch. We learned about the current state of his work, as well as his upcoming exhibitions and plans, many of which involve returning to Cuba, the country of his families origin, where he will be completing an installation as part of the Havana Biennial.
Born 1972, New York. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Rhythm, movement and intuition are in abundance in Emilio Perez’s works, revealing an interest in music, as well as a fascination with the forces of nature. Known as a painter’s painter, combining the inherent aspects of painting with drawing in his unique stylistic process. His work is a combination of the spontaneity and expressiveness of painting (purposefully in its loosest form) and the immediacy and graphic quality of drawing. Energetic and intensely layered, his art is made using a distinctive stylistic process that combines painting, cutting and drawing. The artist generates his kinetic imagery by pushing paint in across a canvas, building layer over layer, and then going back into the painting to “draw” with a blade cutting his marks. Melding foreground and background, Perez’s hand- cut marks ebb and flow between layers like the fluidity of ocean currents.
Perez attended Pratt Institute and University of Florida’s New World School of the Arts. Perez’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the PAMM – Perez Art Museum, Miami; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Fundación ARCO, Madrid and Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; and in corporate collections, internationally. The artist’s paintings were featured in the Critical Gestures, PAMM, Miami; 12th Havana Biennial; Topographies at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Perez had solo exhibitions with Galerie Lelong in both New York and Paris and has been featured in group exhibitions in Dusseldorf, Philadelphia, Houston and St. Louis, among others.