Enoc Perez's interest in architecture as a subject of art began with his first paintings of modern hotel buildings remembered from his childhood and youth in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Perez was fascinated by the new 'International Style' hotels that represented glamour, optimism, and modernism of the 1950s and 60s (in addition to the social, economic, and political circumstances of their existence), as seen in such works as Ponce Inter-Continental Hotel ((2000), Hotel San Juan (2003), and Caribe Hilton (2004).
Following his move to New York to pursue an artistic career, Perez was determined that his art should be based on his physical and psychic location, and this series of paintings of Lever House is the culmination of this effort. Perez considers these works as portraits, and the paintings are built or constructed like a building, rather than painted with traditional brushes. The artist devised a unique method: "For every color that is on the painting I make a drawing, on the back of each drawing I apply the corresponding color with oil paint. Then I re-draw the drawings onto the canvas, one color at a time, creating layers of color that form the finished work." Perez worked from his own photographs of Lever House and created four variations on a theme: Daytime, Nighttime, Black and White, and Gold—in a manner reminiscent of Claude Monet's versions of Rouen Cathedral (1894) and The Doge Palace (1908).
Enoc Perez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1967, and studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (BFA, 1990), and Hunter College, New York (MFA, 1992). His work has been exhibited internationally in numerous one-artist and group exhibitions, He is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York; Faggionato. Fine Art, London; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris; and Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne and Berlin. Enoc Perez lives and works in New York City.
RICHARD D. MARSHALL, Curator
Works in the exhibition:
LEVER HOUSE, JANUARY 2007
LEVER HOUSE, FEBRUARY 2007
LEVER HOUSE, MARCH 2007
LEVER HOUSE, APRIL 2007
Oil on canvas, four paintings, each 106 x 86 inches