"My work always revolves around human beings and their relationships, both with other human beings and with themselves. I place them in open spaces, devoid of everything that is not nature. Places where they can be searched and found. Where they can feel free." - Javier Ruiz Pérez
Without framing his protagonists in any social context, Pérez explores the pure human condition, leaving the viewer to observe the innate human psychology without any enhancing elements. Pérez builds images on a paradoxical dichotomy between dreams and reality, creating a personalised space for his characters by juxtaposing mundane scenes of modern life with blissful landscapes.
Pérez's Platform exhibition presents a series of paintings that depict his personal interpretation of a Garden of Earthly Delights; a heavenly place inhabited by people without a specific gender. The paintings are abundant with bare planes and mountaintops where the human soul is reduced to a minimum expression. The protagonists, seemingly unaware of the bizarreness of laying in these landscapes, exist without responding to their surroundings. By eliminating distinct signs of gender and any social codes of attire, Pérez completely de-contextualises his work, resulting in imagery that is alluring in its peculiarity, while simultaneously creating a space where his characters can simply be themselves, free of any judgement or social preconceptions.
Drawing inspiration from his close relationships and his surrounding environment, Pérez's work translates a deep reflection of everyday life. His stylistic approach is evocative of classical oeuvres, provoking a sense of familiarity which is contrasted with the unexpected appearance of contemporary elements. The dusky tones and intimate atmosphere is accompanied by the titles of the works which translate to It became dark again while we slept. Though some of the depicted subjects generate a feeling of warmth, while others seem elusive and distant, each protagonist has a story to tell and Pérez is inviting the viewer to listen.
Press release courtesy Unit London.