May 21, 2004

La Esquina
arte de la comunidad

Perry Vasquez, A Local Artist Maintaining Outside of the Box

By Geneva Gamez

There are people we meet and remember with a smile, others that cause a stir within us, some are just passers by in our lives, and then there’s those we grow fond of for their intellectual thrive to learn more and share that intellect with the rest of the world. This is the case with Perry Vasquez.

With an educational background from universities of prestige, such as Stanford and our very own UCSD, Perry has taken his artistic talent and explored all the many options that come with it to project it on a larger scale. How large? Large. This guy seems to live to go out of, what would otherwise be an ordinary life, to share social concepts and instigate questions about the way the system truly works.

Since the age of fifteen, Perry has questioned the political ideologies that shape our society. Through much reading and own analysis, Perry has been able to pinpoint what he thinks is just and unjust; through this we have gained an artist who must portray a personal feeling, a disgust for corruption, a claim to reform a close to vanishing vision, a reality in whatever shape or form need be, to get his point across.

A local artist at large, Perry Vasquez has managed to take a peek within the “box,” if only to grasp that very knowledge needed to form educated opinions about politics, social and cultural issues, while at the same time addressing his very own personal doubts. He has, however, maintained himself “out of the box” as an active spectator who takes lead in social and political awareness.

Perry’s major projects include social and cultural themes as Keep on Crossin’, one of his many successful projects dealing with the social injustices we are faced with locally as neighbors to Tijuana, México. It’s important to have people like Perry acknowledge the many lives that are risked and many times lost in the quest for the not-so-perfect after all American Dream.

“The Art of War,” 2003, paint on a 40” x 60” piece of wood

Perry works with paintings: paintbrushes, oils, acrylics, and canvas; as part of his collection you’ll find unique work done with motor oils; he also fools with the technological advancements of our time: graphics. And for this, I must point out that Perry’s got a creative touch on the keyboard; the talent doesn’t end there though. Perry has also manipulated the stage at one point or another. In 1997, he collaborated in “Identities from Outer Space,” alongside his partner of 10 years, Randall Evans.

The staged act was a dark humored criticism against people who seriously treat illegal immigrants as aliens; the setting is the autopsy of this outer space being that is different than what we know, it turns out the “alien” is really just an illegal immigrant. Other talents include: Fotoacktions, which by the way, be sure to check out at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s exhibition, “Chicano Now” on Kettner Boulevard in San Diego, Thursday evening, June 3 at 7 p.m.

All in all, Perry’s goal is to effect change and hope for a better world. He says, “People have identity issues across the country. With people trying to identify with their whiteness, yellowness, brownness, etc., there are often periodical changes that are only temporary at best.”

He thinks people should rather see things in the long run and this way an effective change can take place. His wishful thinking hopes that “our children or grandchildren can live that change that starts now.”

One thing that you’ll find prominently evident all the way around in

Perry”s work is the great, old time favorite, lack of fear. He is open to diversity, optimistically hopeful of the future, and most importantly, an active participant of a positive social demand for change.

To find out more about Perry, you can visit his website at:

To contact Geneva Gamez, the writer of this article, she can be reached at:

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