A Visit to Enoc Perez's Studio In New York

Last week, we had the rare and delightful opportunity to visit the studio of Enoc Perez in mid-town Manhattan. The Puerto Rican-born, New York-based artist was raised under the unique tutelage of an art critic and was exposed to culture and the arts at an early age, which explains not only his practice, but also his intense love for art and it’s romantic history. Indeed, Perez has an almost poetic view of art and his own art – there is a pervading idea that perhaps what we see on the outside is really what’s most important. This explains his works depicting iconic architectural structures, which are created using a unique printmaking process. It also explains his sculptural pieces, which are created using swizzle sticks from tropical resorts as inspiration. It also explains why, in the late 1980s, when he first started practicing, his peers dismissed his art as too sexy, too cool, and too seductive. You can almost hear a Walter Wanderly soundtrack as you look at some of his work. Today, Perez’s work can be found in the permanent collections of major institutions – from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Whitney. In May, Perez will be showing some of his newer photographic pieces alongside the work of Saul Steinberg at Danziger Gallery. When we visited his studio, there were a number of paintings in the works that recalled Picasso’s cubist muses, but with a unique postmodern twist. Instead of finding his muses on the streets of Paris, Perez’s muses are found in the tiny square windows of Instagram – just imagine Dora Maar with a Slasher skateboard magazine t-shirt on. As he showed me around, we talked about architecture, artistic process, Bob Dylan’s song lyrics, enlightenment, the zeitgeist and, of course, swizzle sticks. Photographs and text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper