View of the exhibition Under The Palm Trees at Galerie 75 Faubourg, Paris, France. Photo : Nicolas Brasseur. © Enoc Pérez

Enoc PérezUnder The Palm Trees

18.10 – 01.12.2023
Galerie 75 Faubourg

Galerie Enrico Navarra and Galerie 75 Faubourg are delighted to present Under the Palm Trees, its second solo exhibition devoted to the Puerto Rico-born and New York-based artist Enoc Pérez. His latest works were produced in the warm embrace of the Villa Navarra in Le Muy, South of France. In this exhibition, the artist delves into the realm of basic commercial clichés, transcending them to become integral facets of our very identities.

Views of the exhibition Under The Palm Trees at Galerie 75 Faubourg, Paris, France. Photo : Nicolas Brasseur. © Enoc Pérez

The foundation of Pérez’s reflection relies on a Puerto Rico that lies in the depths of its being as well as on an extensive archive of documentary material from the 1960s, featuring promotional content for the island. This seminal material carries powerful connotations for both natives and foreigners alike, and Perez masterfully transmutes it into a personal form of artistic expression.

“When I started to make paintings of rum bottles, I made them because they were to me, self-portraits, still life’s, American pop art and lies. Drinking rum never made me popular with women or rich or happy. It made me an alcoholic and still I love those images. Very much like Stockholm syndrome.” Enoc Pérez, September 2023.

Enoc Pérez at Villa Navarra, Le Muy, France, 2023. Photo : Loic Thébaud.

Photo : Nicolas Brasseur. © Enoc Pérez

Much like in his beloved Puerto Rico, where the island’s dreams and promises often unfold or not, beneath the swaying palm trees, Pérez transports us to the sun-soaked south of France, where the allure of these towering palms becomes a symbol of the region’s identity. Whether those promises manifest or remain in the realm of imagination is irrelevant, for under the palm trees, all dreams are carefully crafted to override any inconvenient realities.

In Pérez’s art, these clichés morph into a powerful representation of our collective identity. Just as in Puerto Rico, where touristy commercial images of resorts, luxury, sensuality, and spirits mirror a complex colonial history and contemporary existence, the artist’s work challenges us to embrace the multifaceted nature of our own identities.

Enter a world where Pérez’s paintings of rum bottles are both, classical still life and American pop art. With an elaborate and poignant touch, he explores the paradoxical allure of these images. The promises that these rum advertisements imply did not made him popular, wealthy, or joyful, but still he loves them and identifies them as his very own. In a way, it’s a journey akin to Stockholm Syndrome, where the captive falls in love with their captor, albeit in this case, it’s the seductive power of these commercial clichés that captivates our imaginations.