Enoc Perez’s debut exhibition at Mayfair’s Ben Brown Fine Arts, entitled The Cinematic Self, marks a departure for the Puerto-Rican-American artist. Perez, once known as a painter of imposing architectural landmarks – embassies, art galleries and skyscrapers – has turned his gaze to interiors. The exhibition, which runs from October 2 to November 22, introduces a new series of paintings showing the private rooms of select (and mostly male) creatives, eccentrics and collectors of the 20th century, from David Bowie to Le Corbusier.
The paintings (from $50,000 to $100,000) offer an intimate shot into the lives of these renowned figures. One depicts David Bowie’s unmade bed, painted from a photograph taken when Bowie crossed Siberia by train in 1973 and stayed up drinking with Soviet soldiers. Another shows lines of paint tubes and bottles on the floor of Giorgio Morandi’s studio and home.
Working in the tradition of artists such as Rauschenberg, Warhol, Basquiat and Christopher Wool, Perez uses printing techniques to create his paintings. “I invented my own way of printing my paintings by hand,” he says. “One colour by layer. Oil paint drawn onto the canvas through paper. No need for a brush. Just patience”.
And what does The Cinematic Self mean? “It’s the idea of ourselves created in the spaces – domestic or otherwise – we inhabit,” the artist says of the exhibition’s title. “Similar to a set for a movie, but created for reality. I’ve been looking at a lot of interior spaces and they are very much portraits of the people who live in them, but not physical portraits, more like portraits of their minds and portraits of the idea of who they are.”