Yautepec Gallery is honored to present the first international solo exhibition for Ryan Perez, a Los Angeles-based artist whose sculptures and photographs of exacting studio constructions playfully confound distinctions between artistic and industrial production. For Perez, his work exists metaphorically within the moment of seduction. When one chooses, for example, which pair of scissors to buy amongst many, the utility of the tool itself becomes inconsequential to the sensuality of its form, and the identification of an individual with an aesthetic sensibility becomes of paramount concern.
For the exhibition "Don't Say Goodnight," Perez offers two series of photographic works, B.O.G.O. Vision and Three Sisters, both of which represent the diverging results of an iterative process based on formal and conceptual concerns, but don't necessarily pretend to distance themselves from the assortment of Skittles available at one's local convenience store.
Even the title of B.O.G.O. Vision is a reference to the massively successful "Buy One Get One" promotional retail strategy in which an item is sold at a discount or given away for free with the full-price purchase of another. It serves as a tongue-in-cheek emphasis on the series' diptych nature, in which one photograph is coupled with its direct formal opposite; however, that same utilization of bold color pairings and spatial symmetry also lives within the same wheelhouse of visual strategies common to commercial design. In this way, Perez seems to want to provoke with his work the same emotional mechanisms that — in terms of our aforementioned scissors — might make one choose the red ones over the blue ones. Yet, in doing so, the work becomes conscious of the abstracted nature of that decision, the moment of "want" on autopilot.
In the series Three Sisters, Perez has titled each work after a ship on Columbus' maiden voyage to the Americas. The studio constructions in these three photos are comprised of floral-patterned fabrics, reflective foils, plastics — reworkings of inexpensive, mass-produced goods that likely made their own voyage to the Americas, but across the Pacific. Photographed in black-and-white, these works provide a sublime contrast to their more ostentatious B.O.G.O. Vision companions. Moreover, Perez's intent here feels darker, more bitingly sardonic and less ludic. Naming these works after the ships whose voyage was the harbinger of global trade (and exploitation) to come, may thus strike the viewer as a — perhaps morbid but no doubt relevant — joke, which also signals the fact that this New World in question is now clearly making way for the next one.
Ryan Perez (b. Oceanside, CA 1982) received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2008 and his MFA from University of California Riverside in 2012. His work has been exhibited at Raid Projects, Control Room, Pepin Moore, the Riverside Art Museum, and LACMA Special Projects, among others. He lives and works in Los Angeles.