Titled after the Pop Smoke song, this work can be viewed as an ode to the meteoric rise of the hip hop star and his recent tragic death at the age of 20, or a memorial to the many tragic deaths over the past two years due to Covid. Yet this large-scale landscape created by Cuban-Haitian-American painter Na’ye Perez is instead the backdrop, speaking to the overlooked, the everyday, the celebration of life and a community that gives rise to musicians like Pop and his Hip Hop style, Brooklyn Drill. Perez’s artistic process values close looking, the textures and details are remixes or samples of found materials like Ting wrappers, MTA cards, and sand from Coney Island; as well as gel transfers of Vibe and XXL magazines dating back to the 1990s. These coded materials and symbols of Black Caribbean culture are layered within the painted streetscape, revealing further depth underneath the blocks of color. A mix of the real and imagined, on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Duryea Place, What you Know Bout Love… is a call, a challenge to take the care and familiarity required to see.
Photos courtesy of Sebastian Bach.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Na’ye Perez (he/him) is a painting and mixed-media artist living in Brooklyn by way of Columbus, Ohio. He has shown work in solo and group exhibitions at Regular Normal Gallery, NY; Community Folk Art Center, Inc., Syracuse, NY; 129 Gallery, Columbus, OH. His residencies include New Wave, Miami, FL; The Shed’s DISOBEY, and Pratt Institute’s Project 3rd, both in NY.
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