Art

Elle Pérez

B. 1989, New York. Lives and works in New York.
Elle Pérez by Bryson Rand. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

Elle Pérez by Bryson Rand. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

Elle Pérez, Jóse Gabriel, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

Elle Pérez, Jóse Gabriel, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

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In March 2018, ’s first show at 47 Canal, titled “In Bloom,” immediately announced the artist as a new voice in photography, one that could explore the contemporary body with raw intimacy. One of the photos showed a bloody scab- and scar-lined hand resting with popping veins between two legs.
Elle Pérez
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Elle Pérez
Later that year, their solo show at MoMA PS1 saw the camera’s gaze capturing the full identities of Pérez’s friends through unflinching images of their bodies. There were more pictures of scars; in one, a red mark stretches across a chest. At the 2019 Whitney Biennial, a suite of the artist’s arresting images have been an unforgettable highlight. One shows a thigh that appears to have been carved by a sharp object; the skin was cut to spell the word “DYKE” in blood.
The Public Art Fund (PAF) unveiled Pérez’s first public commission this past August, “from sun to sun,” in which their photographs are featured on bus shelters around New York City. As PAF assistant curator Katerina Stathopoulou said, “Their portraiture underscores the distinct beauty of each individual and the collaborative relationship Pérez has with their subjects. Pérez has emerged as one of the most interesting and versatile voices of their generation.” Pérez is also included in the Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibition “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” and will have a solo show at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art in 2020.
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