Perry Vásquez / Oasis
Sparks Gallery’s programming for 2021 has included prominent Southern California artists who explore the theme and concept of “Identity” in their work. Sparks Gallery’s last exhibition of the year will feature new artwork by renowned local artist Perry Vásquez.
The artwork on view will feature his series of palm trees, along with a smaller selection of jocular narratives and experimental self portraits. The show will focus primarily on his exploration of various iterations of palm trees. Ubiquitous in Southern California, and historically viewed as a provider of nourishment, shelter, and bounty, the trees in Vásquez’s paintings are instead framed in peculiar or dire scenarios. Many of the trees in his work are ablaze, or are actually cell towers that pose as a living palm. They are superbly painted with layers of color and detail; they have become anthropomorphized through their portraiture-style framing on the canvas and dance-like poses.
Vásquez’s characteristic narrative alternation, seen in the tree paintings, is also demonstrated in his highly minimalistic, new text-based works. These works contrast the trees in distress, and bring a visual balance to the show.
Vásquez’s works will be on view at Sparks Gallery from October 17, 2021 through January 9, 2022.
We invite you to join us in the gallery on Sunday, October 17, 2021 from 10am-3 pm for the Opening of Perry Vásquez’s solo show, “Oasis”.
Regarding his “burning trees”, Vásquez explains, “I recall being shaken the first time I saw a burning palm tree. My response was to investigate the meaning of this phenomenon through painting and to work through my feelings of awe and dread. I want my paintings of palm trees to give viewers the idea they are standing at the base of a religious painting like a crucifixion or an annunciation. The mixture of violence and beauty seems very Christian to me and the message is similar: All things must pass. Our species can choose to protect and nurture life on our planet or we can waste it. The choice is ours.”