Karlos Pérez: What you see is not reality or reality is not as is seen

/ 1 June, 2018

Was there a time in which you heard that it is different to see a work of art in photos than it is to stand in front of it? This has to do with most cases, with what art provokes, with the visual effect we can feel, be it through color, shapes or the theme. (…)

The images that accompany this text are far from what they could be appreciated by you in front of the painting. Because they are not photos, but rather oil paintings; but mainly because they are drawn based on the artist’s ametropia. (…)

Karlos Pérez bases his work on the study of figuration based on a surrealist perspective, which in turn is his own perspective of the world. Since his early childhood he has suffered from a complicated ametropia, that is to say, an abnormal refractive condition of the eye in which images fail to focus upon the retina. During his stage as a student at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) he already called the series Ametropia, which I consider marks the start of his own and distinctive path.

At the beginning he would use the images of classmates or representations that were interesting in their composition. Afterwards he was more inquisitive and found a world full of stories which he brought back to life. Portraits of ancestors forgotten by their own descendants (…) That’s how he amassed a collection of family photos (…) which allowed him to make personal exhibitions in Havana’s Galería Servando (…) and (…) Galería La Acacia, during the 2015 Havana Biennial. In both series he identifies the works with the date in which these persons decided to perpetuate the moment.

In a conversation with Karlos I asked him why he collected others’ memories and he answered that “using photos of other persons, their graphic memories, goes beyond my personal vision, it allows me to connect with more universal themes.” His investigations on this sphere led him to discover in New York some non-developed negatives of U.S. photographer and painter Thomas Eakins which directly encouraged him to direct his glance at the study of the form and composition of the image in movement. The series Blind Memories was born from that.

(…) In 2016 his work got the best commercial publicity that the audiovisual market can give when it appeared in the film Misconduct, directed by Shintaro Shimosawa, starring Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino. At that time his paintings were on display in New Orleans’ Octavia Gallery.

(…) For this exhibit he proposed to himself to not use his style’s monochromatic line, to give colors to his paintings, using the same shades and in the same way as the analogic photos were colored in laboratories. Right now he continues working with oil paintings and experimenting its effects in different supports like amber, stainless steel, copper, gold and silver. (…)

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