From Cinematic Semiotics to Traditional Themes: The Art of Carlos Charlie Perez

Carlos Charlie Perez, born in 1982 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a contemporary artist celebrated for his distinctive approach to painting.

Now based in Brooklyn, NY, Perez earned his BFA from The Cooper Union in 2004, and since then, he has made a great development in contemporary art with his compelling themes.

carlos charlie perez installation view, promising new face in contemporary art
Carlos Charlie Perez: (Installation) magic carpet ride (movie props), 2022 - Mixed media. In this whimsical and evocative piece, Carlos Charlie Perez brings together a colorful beach umbrella, a patterned fabric shroud, and a traditional Mexican sombrero, all set upon an ornate carpet. This installation plays with themes of travel, cultural fusion, and cinematic storytelling, creating a visual narrative that invites viewers to embark on a metaphorical journey.

Perez’s artistic journey is deeply intertwined with his heritage as a first-generation Cuban American raised in South Florida.

This cultural backdrop significantly influences his work, enriching it with a unique perspective that blends his personal history with broader social themes.

carlos Charlie perez untitled 2020 mixed media deconstructed reese's puffs cereal box with bunny ears
Carlos Charlie Perez: (Wallpiece/Sculpture) untitled, 2020 - Mixed media. This thought-provoking piece by Carlos Charlie Perez incorporates a deconstructed Reese's Puffs cereal box adorned with plush bunny ears. The juxtaposition of everyday consumer packaging with whimsical elements invites viewers to explore themes of consumerism, nostalgia, and transformation in contemporary art.

His interdisciplinary practice spans photography, painting, and printmaking, all of which are imbued with his passion for the moving image and typography.

This diverse mix of mediums showcases his versatility and depth as an artist.

 carlos charlie perez, artist, ghost(mikel), silicone rubber bed sheet denim wood contemporary artwork
Carlos Charlie Perez: Artwork: Ghost(mikel)a unique contemporary artwork combining silicone rubber, bed sheet, denim, and wood, showcasing innovative use of mixed media in modern art. Photo and Courtesy by the Artist

His work has been prominently featured in exhibitions, including the group show "Salat Days" at Personal Space, where his pieces stood out for their originality and emotional resonance.

Perez is known for reconfiguring traditional painting conventions by exploring themes such as Americana, race, sports culture, and abstraction.

These themes are not just presented but are deconstructed and reimagined through his lens, offering viewers a fresh and thought-provoking experience.

One of the defining characteristics of Perez's work is his use of the cinematic technique known as "breaking the fourth wall."

Salad Days (July 30 - Sept 10, 2023) — Personal Space

Personal Space - Group Show with Carlos Charlie Perez

This approach, where actors address the audience directly, creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy. Perez translates this technique onto his canvases, engaging viewers in a direct and personal dialogue.

carlos charlie perez studio installation with american flags tartan patterns textiles contemporary art
Carlos Charlie Perez's Studio Installations: A Vibrant Fusion of Textiles and Symbolism: In this captivating studio setup, Carlos Charlie Perez presents a vibrant collection of assemblages that highlight his innovative use of textiles and symbolic imagery. The arrangement features an eclectic mix of materials including American flags, tartan patterns, and various other textiles, each piece telling a unique story. The juxtaposition of these elements creates a rich tapestry of cultural and political narratives, reflective of Perez's ability to weave complex themes into his work. This installation not only showcases his technical skill but also his keen eye for detail and composition, making him a prominent emerging artist in the contemporary art scene.

His paintings extend beyond the visual, inviting an exploration of deeper, often unconventional themes in a dynamic and engaging manner.

In essence, Carlos Charlie Perez’s art is a vibrant tapestry of cultural reflection, innovative technique, and profound thematic exploration.

assamblage contemporary art 2024 mixed media vintage photograph with embroidered text carlos charlie perez
assamblage, contemporary art, 2024 - This mixed media piece by Carlos Charlie Perez blends a provocative vintage photograph with playful, embroidered text on fabric. The juxtaposition of vibrant, nostalgic imagery with contemporary artistic interventions reflects themes of cultural critique and transformation, making a bold statement in the realm of contemporary art.

His ability to blend traditional artistic tropes with contemporary narrative forms sets him apart in the contemporary art scene, making his work both captivating and intellectually stimulating.

Perez himself articulates his artistic vision with clarity:

"Using the semiotics of film to construct paintings as multi-framed objects, my work employs lighting and narrative themes derived from the moving image.

drawing assemblage mixed media manipulated vintage photograph with embroidered text carlos charlie perez
Assemblage 02, 2020 - Mixed media. This piece by Carlos Charlie Perez features a manipulated vintage photograph overlaid with bold, embroidered text on fabric. The juxtaposition of historical imagery with contemporary interventions highlights themes of memory, identity, and transformation, making a powerful statement in the realm of contemporary art.

I’m interested in reconfiguring traditional tropes and painting conventions through themes such as Americana, race, sports culture, and abstraction.

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In film, when an actor speaks to the audience through the lens of the camera, it appears they are having a conversation outside the established frame through the performance convention called 'breaking the fourth wall.'

anything is rashomon  mixed media installation with 101 dalmatians movie poster plush toys audio equipment carlos charlie perez
anything is rashomon, 2022 - Mixed media. Carlos Charlie Perez's installation features an eclectic mix of objects including a 101 Dalmatians movie poster, a stack of plush Dalmatian toys, and various audio equipment. This assemblage plays with themes of nostalgia, media, and perception, drawing on the narrative complexity suggested by the title, "Rashomon," to challenge viewers' understanding of reality and interpretation in contemporary art.

I strive for a similar effect whereby paintings extend the conversation outside the confines of the canvas and allow for exploring non-traditional themes for the viewer and myself."
Carlos Charlie Perez

Follow the Promising Artist: Carlos Charlie Perez

Carlos Charlie Perez is an emerging artist to watch, offering a refreshing perspective that bridges traditional art forms with contemporary themes and techniques.

carlos charlie perez at aca residency working on brad fox catalogue model contemporary art
Carlos Charlie Perez at ACA Residency - Carlos Charlie Perez works meticulously on his vibrant piece titled "Brad Fox Catalogue Model," blending playful elements with sharp cultural critique. His unique approach to contemporary art combines bold text, iconic imagery, and striking colors, encapsulating his innovative style and thought-provoking themes.

His work not only challenges conventional boundaries but also invites viewers to engage in a broader dialogue about culture and identity.

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Follow Carlos Charlie Perez on Instagram for more informations, current projects and new artworks in the making.

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