Randy Perez loves to play around with ideas. His drawings and collage-based works highlight impactful, symbolic juxtapositions rooted in his own story. Through different mediums and interwoven disciplines from graphic design to apparel and music, and through unique, inspired collaborations, Perez’s creative experiments are always evolving. His equine studies, cowboy scenes from rural and urban milieux, and a lively fusion of cultural influences reflecting parts of his life spent in Mexico, Minnesota, and Los Angeles, are just some of the elements of his latest project—as the first artist in residence at Larchmont, West Hollywood, and Venice cafe Great White. Great White has always showcased original art in its locations, and had already tapped Perez for its in-house wine’s label; they came back to him to enact a new idea—to take the art on the wall, and put it on everything from pizza boxes, to parchment paper, menus, and a little merch, too. Perez considered the commission as a chance to inhabit a whole experience, and craft each element as a part of a larger story—one that includes finding new ways to bring art into people’s lives.
When did you first know you were an artist?
I’ve always been creative as far back as I can remember. Before I understood what an ‘artist’ was or did, I was just naturally curious and experimenting with anything that seemed interesting to me as a kid. I used to draw a lot with zero knowledge of what I was doing or just learning to use software. But I don’t think I ever had an ‘I am an artist’ moment. It’s just what I did and continue to do.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
I listen to a variety of music depending on my mood. Sometimes music, sometimes podcasts. I enjoy playing a lot of instrument-based music, especially 70s Argentinian bands, Banda, Cumbia, and beat tapes.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
I’m self-educated in all mediums. I never attended art school (except for Art Center for one week) because I couldn’t afford it, but also because I think I have too many interests to be able to commit to one thing. Throughout my career, I’ve been learning and trying different things which I think all bleed into one another. However, I think I would have enjoyed the mentorship and community, which would have been helpful when learning and feeling stuck.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
I’ve collaborated with my friends at Great White on a limited edition collection of my work across their pizza boxes, menus, and hats. As an artist you get requests to work on mostly typical things—commissions, brand graphics, group shows—so when Great White first reached out about working together and bringing art to a space outside the standard canvas I knew I couldn’t pass it up. Each element was created independently and then unified as a group. Collage, pattern, and single artworks all come together seamlessly. The Great White environments are a harmony of colors, sounds, flavors and feelings. I relate that to my work, a constant juxtaposition of ideas.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?
There are many artists, but I will say El Greco. I love the elongated characters, use of color, brush strokes, and clouds used in many of his paintings.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I think about this question often, only because I don’t know if there would be anything else I could be doing other than being creative and experimenting with different mediums. I was not given any other options. The gods spoke!
Web & Socials, please!
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