Yair Perez “Head to Toe”by Sarah Peguine | 14.10.16
38 year old Yair Perez is an autodidact who already as a teenager knew that he would paint, and although his education at the Cabri School, an artistic high school in the North of Israel, impacted him—he only spent a year studying at the HaMidrasha Art academy.
In recent years, Perez has received a lot of attention with Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports, receiving the Young Artist Award in 2014 and a residency at the prestigious ArtPort program in 2012/13.
He paints, draws and sculpts; he is a fast executor, completely dedicated to his art and studio where he spends many nights working. Perez never prepares sketches before his paintings and chooses to immerse himself completely in the process.
His dark figures have always fascinated me and repulsed me at the same time, an uncanny world which visitors will also discover in his important first solo show at the Hezi Cohen Gallery, one of the trendsetter galleries to have moved to the South of Tel Aviv.
What makes his paintings so strong and powerful—like a kick to the guts—are a few elements: the size of the canvases, the outstanding and unique color palette which Perez creates himself by mixing his own pigments, his impressive technique and of course, the subject matter—decomposed creatures, with huge hands and feet, those peripheral body parts which fascinates Perez and which have also given him the title of the exhibition: Head to Toe.
Who are these people? Perez has been working for over ten years as an art therapist at a rehabilitation center for mentally ill persons who are the source of inspiration for his paintings or as he puts it, are his access to creation.
There’s something about Perez’s work which makes the viewers really look and observe the paintings, there’s no way to run away from them, their presence is extremely intense and will make viewers face these dark figures; and through them perhaps even make them feel closer to their own inner world, fears and demons.
www.perezyair.com | Yair Perez’s show “Head To Toe” will be on view at Hezi Cohen gallery until October 22nd.
Hezi Cohen Gallery, 54 Wolfson Street, Tel Aviv. 03-639-8788. Mon-Thurs 10:30-19:30, Fri 10:00-14:00, Sat 11:00-14:00.