Harper's is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by Enoc Perez, Summer Job. Combining appropriated, reproduced, and original photographs and ephemera with layers of unique cutouts, this series marks a new venture in the artist's oeuvre. Representative of his versatile approach to art-making, the mixed media works in Summer Job highlight the artist’s unrelenting exploration of new modes of figurative representation and unyielding insistence on the vitality of his materials. In addition to the collages on canvas and paper, the presentation will feature two sculptures and a selection of repurposed three-dimensional objects by the artist.
Whereas Perez’s previous and concurrent projects have included experimentation with processes of oil painting and printmaking, this series rests on the juxtapositions between products of high and low culture and between forms of high and low artistic media. Using found images of semi-nude women, culled from online resources as well as the artist's personal archive, Perez investigates the changing nature of representation in the age of social media. His layering of vibrantly colored geometric shapes, which recall the lyrical abstractions of Jean Arp and Henri Matisse, illustrate the artist's distinctly painterly approach to the practice of collage and further establish his ongoing dialogue with the legacy of Modernism.
The Summer Job series additionally marks an extension of Perez's continued use of source photographs and ephemera, including depictions of Caribbean beach culture and tropical environments, both as subject matter and reference material in his art. Whereas his earlier Pop Art-inspired paintings have focused on iconic buildings and commodity objects, such as the Bacardi rum bottle, for this recent body of work, Perez contributes to contemporary discourses regarding the aesthetics of social and digital media. Through an approach that recalls the work of John Baldessari, Perez subverts the seductive pleasure of spectatorship by disrupting the image with cutout shapes that at once entice and obfuscate.
Summer Job was inspired, in part, by Perez's recent investigations of the book form as an artistic medium and originated as a sketchbook filled with his preliminary mock-ups. Featuring reproductions of found images, collaged, and painted elements, the book contains several original works that intimately document the artist's creative process. Two other unique artists' books by Perez, Naked Women and The Rum Book (both 2013) are on-view and similarly, illustrate the artist's engagement with photographic material, found ephemera, and collage. Created out of two soft-pornographic photobooks from the 1970s, these original works highlight Perez's continued engagement with the book form as an evolving part of his practice.
Enoc Perez (b. 1967, San Juan, PR) lives and works in New York City. Perez received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1990 and an MFA from Hunter College in 1992. His most recent exhibitions include New Work, Thomas Ammann Fine Arts, Zurich; Paris Mon Amour, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; The Good Days, Acquavella Galleries, New York; Utopia, Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.; and Works on Paper, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Brussels. Perez’s work is held in the permanent collections of numerous international public institutions including the Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.