About The Artist
Juan Gabriel Perez’s mixed media pieces, organized in lines and blocks of color, resemble a bird’s eye view of an urban area. Reminiscent of Richard Diebenkorn’s abstract paintings, the work is clearly influenced by the landscape. The bright primary colors bring to mind the vibrancy of Juan’s native country, Colombia. There is energy in the way the shapes intersect and move around each other, with crisscrossing lines that create both balance and haphazardness. Juan’s artworks are assembled with a range of media. Among his application of acrylic paint and charcoal, you may notice a small stub of a pencil, an airplane boarding pass, or a crumbled piece of notepaper hidden within the compositions. The layers of imagery from torn newspapers and magazines create the effect of street posters, just as they are posted on top of each other and torn down in urban spaces. In a contemporary way, Juan conveys the rich and stimulating world around him through a mix of geometric and organic forms.
By using the body as a tool to work the material and the mind as the engine that drives the process, together in perfect unison, they transfigure the elements in order to compose the image by moving away from the mimesis of the external influences. This allows the subject to achieve autonomy through its own unique expression. The geometric and linear forms, along with color and light, are the basic elements, which are essential for the creation of the artwork. By blending these factors together with the process, and the effort of constructing the image, the artist arrives at the point where they have the responsibility to combine these components, and bring into being, the concept residing in the depths of their imagination. The act of creation where, for example, taking a piece of clay and forging it into a specific form, takes it from the mundane to the extraordinary, as the artist patiently uses their skill to ensure the desired result. This process follows the criteria the artist has set down in order to ensure success with this task. There are internal and external factors that impose themselves on the process where the inner fire of inspiration is fueled by the outer influences of the artist's universe. Both Pollock and Rothko are examples where abstract art conveys an innovative style which challenges the traditional creative process. Using the abstract process one does not apply color through conventional means, but instead allows it to flow and roam across the surface of the medium on its own journey. The destination will determine the outcome of the image, which will be unique and inspired, as the artist has intended. The choice and use of materials are important in achieving the desired effect, as one searches for the ideal conditions to execute and fulfill the potential of the creative process. I have an affinity for materials that allow me to rapidly apply them to the surface, so as to breathe life into the image while it is still clear in my mind. Once this part of the process is complete I devote my energy to the application of color and texture, which pave the way for the creative process, and the ultimate destination which is the image born of inspiration and devotion.
Universidad de Caldas
Master of Arts, 2007