Enoc Perez: Tender

Text (German/English) by Marc von Schlegell
64 p with 24 coloured illustrations
250 x 260 mm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-940953-06-3


Naive = Modernism?

»The paintings of Enoc Perez are instantly recognizable,« wrote Marc von Schlegell, »and the peculiar surface screens a pathos across their photo-imagery that ingeniously denudes the images of both their privacy and their public iconic significance. Their surface renders the pictures as painting. It is an oddity, therefore, that Perez’s surface effects are the result of a turn away from painting to drawing. The surface points us to a central theoretical motion perceivable in the artist‘s paintings, a turning between schools of art, culture, and influence. There is no resolution of this motion, no final theoretical destination or quasi-historical statement. There is only, at last, a painting. This by itself may be taken as a final statement. But what sort of painting? Only materiel defines it. Certainly the images do not. Perez layers pictures selected from postcards, downloaded images, or the artist’s personal polaroids, by pressing paper backed with wet oil-stick monochromes against a canvas or paper, and drawing on its surface. The drawing is peeled away to leave a layer of printed paint. The drawing, the rough imprint of the artist’s hand, works actively in competition with the images and their post-modern and sometimes pop familiarity. If as Sontag said, following Barthes, »a photograph is not only an image ( as a painting is an image ) … it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask,« Perez removed the selected photograph’s privilege to the real, with the real hand of the artist, of the printer, of the craft. The final painting is the record of an event in time, a series of events against, or on top of the photograph‘s. In its final effect the process can be reminiscent of other artists, of Warhol for instance, or Tuymans, but in regards to its curious relation to the image and in its declaration of the time of painting, one might call it peculiarly Perez.«