Existential Fluid Portraits from Cuban Artist Karlos Pérez

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Alison Pierz

Karlos Perez portrait painting Cuban artist photographic school boy

Karlos Pérez's portrait of a Cuban school boy

Frames and Stretchers recently had the pleasure of working with a powerful figurative painting by Cuban artist Karlos Pérez in the studio. The collector came down from upstate New York and brought one of Pérez’s “Ametropia series” paintings to be stretched and framed. The Ametropia paintings reference vintage photographs, altered and re-presented in Pérez’s distinctive, distorted style. The images are rendered on a large scale and distorted through his painterly process. This particular image was based on a 1960s school portrait of a Cuban immigrant to the US. It’s part of a larger body of work that references vintage photographs which the artist manipulates in order to distance them from their original time and place and create a more surreal visual experience.

Karlos Perez Cuban artist painter photographic portrait

A work from Karlos Pérez's, "Ametropia"series

With a background in photography, video, and installation, Karlos Perez’s paintings blur the traditional discourse of art. His works are not  so much portraits in the traditional sense, but more of an exploration of existential character. Pérez’s paintings also blur the boundaries between mediums. Fragments of images have been meticulously analyzed by the artist and processed through the filters of his personal experiences. Family photographs are removed and distanced from their temporal settings contributing to their surreal quality. His method involves blotting of paint and scratching of the canvas. He reshapes the original images as captured on film creating a fluid, liquid feeling. The results are enigmatic paintings that seem to have traveled through time to captivate us in the present.


Karlos Perez figurative painting Cuban artist

An image with two figures from the artist's "Ametrpoia" series 

Although based in Cuba, Pérez is a young artist currently exploring domestic as well as international production and exhibition. It was exciting to have the opportunity to work with his art here at our Lower East Side location!

From his artist statement: There is no such thing as an original image, every image is incomplete and is always revealed as reminiscent of many others…”

Posted in Cuban Artist, Karlos Perez, Painting, Portrait