Artexpo New York Poster Challenge Winner Juan Luis Perez: The Continuous Evolution of an Artist
Congratulations to Juan Luiz Perez, who handily won the 2017 Artexpo New York Poster Challenge with his captivating mixed-media work Worlds Unite.
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1970, Juan Luis Perez is a self-taught artist who has lived all over the world, including Spain, France, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. Having immersed himself in many different cultures, Perez has a unique perspective on the human experience and strives to explore people’s commonalities and differences in his work.“My thematic interest revolves around human beings and their most pressing conflicts,” Perez says. “My works are profound social portraits of a generation. Similarly, I’m interested in cultural dialogues between East and West, or between societies which, despite their differences, belong to the same condition: human.”
He has been called chameleonic in his approach, never sticking to one artistic style, but rather relishing the experimental process, the unpredictability of various mediums, and the constant search for new modes of expression.
Perez explains, “I consider myself totally away from fads or trends. When I create a piece of art, I am guided only by my truest inspiration from a total freedom of choice. Being completely self-taught, I do not believe in the academy and its dogmas, and even less in the market claims. So, I change my artistic style as if I were changing my clothes. For me, art is a passion, a fun, a great adventure.”
Calling the spatula the “biggest protagonist of his work,” Perez loves making rough, dynamic strokes, and frequently employs dissimilar materials, such as acrylic, oil, charcoal, graphite, resins, gesso, alcohol, and newspaper sheets, in the same piece.
A bold, fearless artist, Perez has received acclaim for his provocative work from many industry insiders, including curator and art critic Píter Ortega Núñez, who calls Perez “a profoundly anti-academic, irreverent, and rebellious artist.”
When Núñez visited Perez’s studio, he was left momentarily speechless, feeling disarmed by the diversity of Perez’s work. “Juan Luis is sometimes abstract and other times figurative; at times he uses strident and contrasting colors, and in other cases, employs an enormous chromatic sobriety,” Núñez observes. “In summary, we are in front of an eternal adventurist, without a defined course, for whom nomenclatures are not to his liking. The only word that best describes his art is ‘liberty.’”