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Blog: Inspiration Between the Lines

Carlos Rene Perez: In Twilight at Leica Galleries

In the summer exhibition, Carlos Rene Perez: In Twilight at Leica Galleries, and a photobook by Perez, An Artist’s Life, the transition from day to night in the context of an urban landscape is brought into focus. Neon signage, electric lights, deep hues of blue, reflective surfaces and a relaxed view of city dwellers converge to create an intimate portrait of the early stages of life at night.

Image courtesy of Carlos Rene Perez

 

Perez, a New York based curator, fine art and commercial photographer who arrived in 1974 from Texas, has honed his eye over decades. His background includes editorial news photography and commercial work for a variety of medical institutions. In parallel, his curatorial vision has been cultivated through nearly 30 years of work for Leica Galleries. This mix of photographic viewpoints has resulted in his own unique style.

Image courtesy of Carlos Rene Perez

 

A vibrating stillness hovers in his images that may also be the result of the patience that long-time New Yorkers must perfect as residents of a bustling metropolis. The ability to merge with an undercurrent of calm enveloped in the beauty and suspended animation of twilight lingers in the shopkeepers, streetwalkers and moments of leisure present in Perez’s images. The intricacies of life beyond the 9-5 hustle of city life that often come alive after dark are contemplated, yet left open to interpretation by Perez.

Image courtesy of Carlos Rene Perez

 

The possibility of entertainment or a languorous delight around any given corner is ever-present in the photographs as well. A hotdog from a street cart, a delectable selection of Indian restaurants lit up with rows of dangling colored lights, and the enticement of a circus boldly fill the frames of Perez’s images. However, the smaller scale or obfuscation of the human beings who populate each photograph seems to carry the most allure. An overall mystery of who inhabits the night, what they are doing in the moment an image is taken, and how their night will transpire conjures up both real-life memories and fictions.

Image courtesy of Carlos Rene Perez

 

The enduring pleasure of taking photographs over time, free of the constraints of commercial expectations and a fast paced, click-bait culture, becomes increasingly evident the more you look at the work of Perez. In some ways, his oeuvre is a reminder to take time to linger, roam, look and feel—otherwise, life might just pass you by.

Image courtesy of Carlos Rene Perez

 

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