Editorial: Peres Projects – Global Vision - Publication: Downtown News Back to Editorials

Perched amongst a gaggle of hip galleries in Chung King Road Chinatown, Peres Projects is  a venue with vision and influence. Yet, the brainchild of dealer Javier Peres is  more than a  localized stomping ground for hipsters and art school alumni,.

With a focus on  nurturing and exhibiting international fine art, Peres Projects in Chinatown is only one of two international galleries currently sharing the same name. At present there is also a Peres Projects in Berlin, while an additional two look set for the near future . An Athens Peres Projects will open later this year, while a New York gallery is also scheduled for sometime late in 2008.

The first Peres Projects space was founded in August 2002 in San Francisco to show the work of innovative international and US artists.  In March 2003, the gallery relocated to the Chinatown district of Los Angeles. 

In September 2005, the gallery opened Peres Projects in Berlin.  A project space curated by Terence Koh and Javier Peres entitled Asia Song Society (A.S.S.) opened in March 2006.  The gallery focuses on young, emerging artists working in all mediums that present work that is challenging, experimental, and immediate.  

According to gallerist Javier Perez, “The LA gallery and the Berlin gallery are both my projects. They that share a common name and mission, though they are different spaces with different personalities.”

A former lawyer, Peres sees himself more as an “enabler,” than an art dealer. “I initially planned for the LA gallery to be a true project space, whereby I would limit the space to hosting just two shows for an artists then move on to another artist.

Yet Ive become too involved with my current stable of artists to drop them after two shows. I decided these people need  attention an support. Its not just about a picture. I work with the artists I do because I want to manipulate history. I want them to be art history.

Asked about his creative vision and the artists he exhibits, Peres  replies, “I am interested in many different things in the world, and artists who share those interests and address them in their work in original and thought-provoking ways intrigue me   It's all about trust very much like a master-servant relationship; except in our case, we never make clear who is who.

Peres Projects current stable of artists includes Dan Attoe (US), Chris Ballantyne (US)Dan Colen (US), Amie Dicke (NL), Kaye Donachie (UK), Matt Greene (US), John Kleckner (US)Bruce LaBruce (CA), Terence Koh (CA), Kirstine Roepstorff (DK), Dean Sameshima (US) Mark Titchner (UK), Paul Lee (US), Agathe Snow (US).

Asked about his ambitious plans for global expansion  Javier Perez is seemingly more about eccentric indulgence  than business acumen. “I came to Berlin because I've loved the city since my first visit here, I was five years old, competing in gymnastics..”

“Before I opened my gallery, I had lived in Berlin for a year because Kristine Roepstorff the Danish artist-goddess whom I represent and who is also one of my dearest BFFs, was already here full-time, and we were joined at the hip. I was like, " I need to keep myself a bit more busy when I'm here." Ta-da! The gallery was born.”

“I'm here as much as possible, currently that amounts to as much as 75% of the time. The city has an amazing art scene. I think it's top-top, like, the highest level for the world.”

Still Peres, assures that he is aware of the brutal constraints of commerce .”Everything I do is commercial. I just run my business my own way. “  A recently acquired 4,500-square-meter additional space for his Berlin gallery apparently “allows me to try out new things, like roller-skating parties, performances, large-scale sculptures, and maybe even the opportunity to exhibit tids and bits of my own collection.

A new Peres Projects destined for Athens later this year  is a “dream come true,” for Peres. “I love Athens and Greece in general; it's the gate to our culture as Western people. I'm doing a temporary project there so that I can be there more often, enjoy the wonders of the city and the country, see friends there, and have more friends come over.”

“In fact, the first thing we're doing at PP Athens will be to celebrate my 27th birthday on July 7, 2007 (07-07-07) with a big bash. It'll be a lot of fun. A few days after, Terence and I and I think  Dan Coeln too will go to the Canary Islands for an exhibition that Terence is doing at the museum there. In the years to come, I want to do temporary exhibitions in the Bahamas as well as East Africa  maybe Somalia or Eritrea.”

Peres Projects current show by artist Chris Ballantyne will run from June 16 through July 28.

Written by Craig Stephens

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