Sunday, September 10, 2006

The passionate Opus of Iris

Marianne de Tolentino
Member of the Administration Board of the International Association of Art Critics.

Iris Pérez is an artist who does count. It would be inappropriate to refer to her as a mounting talent as indeed, she has proven her seriousness, her consistency and her unrestricted creativity. Since the exhibition she presented in Fine Arts in 1999, she has been standing out thanks to a style more and more personal as time goes on, offering works which are rich, abundant and engaged, rendering obvious the pleasure of creating and searching…

She was trained in the very National School of Fine Arts where she lectures today. Her art alternates between drawings, paintings – both being her main genres - , sculpture and recently ceramics. It is worth mentioning that Iris had been selected amongst nearly 5000 candidates worldwide to participate in a planetary collective workshop at the Athens Olympic Games where she received a noted recognition for her sculptures installation. Since, she has worked with an incredible energy and has had no other choice but to exhibit her works.

If we mention her engagement as a fundamental aspect of her art, it is because Iris Perez has committed herself to the defense of the human condition and to the condition of abused and exploited women in particular. Thus, she plunges herself and us in the process, in the problems of the City, in a “human habitat” which imprisons creatures in fragmented and closed spaces and which, despite their density, maintain or increase loneliness, separation and scarcity of communication.

It is necessary to mention that the artist has never lost track of her psychological and social objectives nor the control of the means, although her passion for Art has culminated in an impressive production. Similarly she expressed herself in total liberty, the way she wants to, the way she feels it, without ever abandoning authenticity, innocence and the freshness of the soul, qualities transmitted by her protagonists.

Who does not know Iris Perez could think that her drawings are kids’ drawing or that she has copied them. Of course this is not so. We know that many great modern artists were fascinated by the creative easiness and ingeniousness of early age. Let us mention Kandinsky, Klee and Picasso, at times capable as well of identifying with childlike expression, as a form of play. The young Dominican artist traces these figures, spontaneously, repeatedly, without any effort and successfully, unlike others who have tried, in vain, to do so.

Her art is about evolution towards simplification and shows the agile transformation the clumsy and quick sketches drawn by the little ones, even when it seems to be mimetic, into elementary figures. Iris Perez knows how to represent space, nearly always bi-dimensionally and with a voluntary lack of perspective. We should talk about spatial organization with the construction of the image rather than composition.
She adds structures and graphical elements be they abstract or neo-figurative to her pictorial or sketched figures, often the center of her environment. We observe a particular variety as far as her line is concerned, from fineness to thickness: circular, straight, elliptical, sinuous, open, parallel, closed and oval. A true lexical exercise for a more than sensitive geometry! The impulses of her gesture seem inexhaustible, yet also under control – we need to mention, and act within the support.

The characters, mainly women, be they standing, facing or profiled, often depict the entire body and are generally positioned in a line. Few characters are isolated but this does not mean that they actually communicate as far as she is concerned. The dehumanization of the world, overpopulation and shortages do not facilitate interchanges and fraternization. This is the message, intended to trigger reflection, which Iris Pérez sends us.

Lately, her drawings and paintings have tended to identify with one another: the techniques and the supports are merging; the separation between categories is being blurred. Iris Pérez is an example of the “globalizing” tendency although she persists in making the distinction between Drawing and Painting. We respect her for that… However, for us, it is simply a passionate Opus, overflowing with humor and tenderness. And that’s enough.

Marianne de Tolentino
Member of the Administration Board of the International Association of Art Critics.


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