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Spanish Artist Vicente Peris Makes His Stateside Debut with La Sombra

Vicente Peris

Photos Credit: Vicente Peris

With an artistic career spanning over five decades, multidisciplinary fine artist Vicente Peris and his works seem to always be evolving. With series ranging in medium from ceramic and silver sculptures, to large scale oil painting, to interactive performance pieces, calling Peris prolific would be an understatement.

Born and raised in the Spanish city of Valencia, Peris’ artistic inclinations began at a young age. He often occupied his time as a child sketching massive, never-ending chalk drawings on the sidewalks around his neighborhood—a hobby that would later inform his refined artistic process as an adult. He went on to study at the historic Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlosin Valencia before becoming a professor at multiple other prestigious art universities. After moving to San Francisco in the 1980s, Peris was introduced to the abstract expressionist movement, opening the door to unconventional and exciting interpretations of how his canvas could be utilized. He is credited with bringing abstraction as well as large scale paintings, installations and performances to Valencia. 

Most recently, Vicente Peris has brought his three-part interactive installation series entitled La Sombra to the United States for the first time, exhibiting at his studio in Downtown Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to speak with Peris about La Sombra, as well as his artistic processes and philosophies.

 Vicente Peris

JL: What inspired you to create La Sombra? How did this installation develop? Was the installation always a three part series?

VP: This is part of a process that began in Venice when I was working with the reflections in the canals. It was there I noticed the shadows on ‘dorso duro’ (hard ground) for the first time. I remembered when I was a child and I drew on the sidewalks with chalk for hours and hours in Valencia, and without knowing it I created a painting with no end. A single painting has no connection except with the moment, but connecting one painting to another it began to take the form of a continuum, but fragmented. La Sombra wasn’t always in three parts, it obeys a process that began with La Sombra Transparente.

 Vicente Peris

JL: Can you go into each part of La Sombra? How do these work together to create a whole piece? What makes the interactive aspect of La Sombra important to its message?

VP: La Sombra Transparente is the first part of a process that utilized a technique of deflagration (explosive) on 20 pieces of 10-meter long canvas. After seeing the shadow transformed by fire, the piece had the depth I was looking for, but I felt at some point it needed to be interpreted with color. La Sombra Pintada is the color of the model reflected into the shadow. It’s this area of the shadow where we can contemplate the essence of the soul (according to the ancient Greeks). I paint the color of the soul of the shadow. La Sombra Liberada is the part in which the shadow—painted on a 2D support—liberates itself into a 3D space to create a transversal continuum. Drawing the outline of a shadow creates a container that holds life.

La Sombra is a work that is linked. These three links form a process that is still open. The interactivity of the pieces is an invitation for the viewer to access the work from the inside and feel a part of it. One can experience other spaces, perspectives and perceptions. The assistance of the viewer is necessary.

 Vicente Peris

JL: Your work is well outside the confines of two dimensional space and seems to utilize every bit of the environment it’s presented in. How has your work been influenced by environment? Does it differ with various mediums? 

VP: My work is always influenced and inspired by the environment. I was very inspired by the city of Venice and I dedicated eight years and four exhibitions to Venice. The closet doors of La Sombra Pintada and the revolving doors of La Sombra Liberada are directly inspired by the European social and political environment I lived in. Every situation is an opportunity for renovation in terms of mediums that require the adequate tools that need to be constructed. 

 Vicente Peris

JL: What is an idea for an art installation you haven’t explored yet, but would like to in the future? 

VP: The next future installation would be about the color of the shadow of Los Angeles that speaks about the relationship between the sun and the movement of the earth.

JL: Has the creation process of this piece impacted how you paint the human form without a shadow?

VP: I look for the human in the shadow.

Much like his artwork, Peris is in constant evolution, attempting to discover and explore the unknown. His works’ fragmented continuums mimic his personal transformation and endless sources of inspiration. His interactive, evolving exhibition La Sombra will be on display through December 7, 2017 at Santa Fe Lofts in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Carly Zinderman

Carly Zinderman is a Senior Staff Writer for JustLuxe, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines and online publications, but loves fashion and style best. In her spare time, when she?s not writing, Carly enjoys watching old movies, reading an...(Read More)

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