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Victor Hugo Perez: The Divine Comedy

Paty y kinky II

By Margaret Failoni

Born in Guadalajara where he lives and works, Victor Hugo Pedrez’s work is difficult to define according to today’s standards. Someone once described it as a heady well shaken cocktail of equal portions of Basquiat and Picasso with a pinch of Phillip Guston, a pinch of Karel Appel and a pinch or two of Dubuffet. It is borderline outsider’s art and that’s what makes it so fascinating. His work is fast, impulsive, and passionate with a raging need to paint, to sculpt. VHP is a story teller, a chronicler of the violent world we live in.

His idealistic approach to aesthetics embraces so called “low art” and eschews traditional standards of beauty in favor of what he believes to be a more authentic and humanist approach to image making. He paints scenes of hysterical women, fighting men, howling animals on the one hand and then the most romantic portrait of a loved one or an exquisitely rendered still life, as if painted in a moment of quiet. His is a quest to place his painted characters, each in their own circle of heaven and hell. People never sit placidly: they laugh out loud, they scream, the fight, they make love, they sin and are redempted.

He is obsessed with the evil and the good in our society, being a faithful chronicler of both. He pokes fun at society’s conventions: the church, politics, sports, the art world. Nothing is sacred and yet…everything in the end is sacred, especially nature, especially love. We gently scratch the surface to find, like all revolutionaries, a true romantic. The artist Perez’s work is a perpetual exploration of styles and inspirations, a never ending influx of impressions ranging from international art currents and politics to local situations and everyday dilemmas. His work is always triggered by a curious exploration and thus, in continuous experimentation, constantly reinventing him. He refuses to be inserted into a square art system, always sailing against the wind.

In today’s world recognition is generally ascribed to the familiar and understandable, while difference is met with questions and at times derised suspicion. This artist prefers transfiguration to replication, interceding between the state of things and their possible interpretation. Determined to produce differentiation, using allegories as intermediaries, VHP revitalizes figuration. These images speak of our world in so many different ways, by systematically shoving reality into our face…and making us love it.


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