PERRY VASQUEZ   Painting  Performance  Printmaking  Collect  Contact  BIO


PerryI am an artist and educator living in San Diego, California.

I was born in Los Angeles but relocated to North Carolina at a young age and remain considerably influenced by my experiences growing up there. In particular I was shaped by the musical culture I encountered in the form of gospel, blues, rock and bluegrass music. My first formal art lessons were thanks to the intervention of concerned church ladies who took me outside to practice sketching landscapes– a passtime which I still enjoy today.

I received an A.B. in Political Science and Studio Art from Stanford University in 1982. As a student I was exposed to a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions about art, philosophy and politics. One of the most influential classes I took was a German Lit class focused on Nietzsche taught by professor Russell Berman. I also became intersted in publishing and gained experience working for the campus humor magazine, the Standford Chaparral. I put together my own publication, Nihl Magazine, and did a summer internship at WET Magazine in the summer of 1981.

In 1987, affter a sporadic career as a freelance graphic designer, I was admitted into UCSD's Visual Art MFA program. It was a valuable experience but it left me disillusioned with academic art and so I went in search of a community that I could contribute my time and energy to. From 1993–1997 I served as Assistant Curator at the Centro Cultural de la Raza where I curated Plan 9 from Aztlan and other exhibits focused on Chicana/o aesthetics and cultural issues.

Throughout the 1990s I worked on developing an array of unique artistic practices including motography in which recycled motor oil is used for fine art printmaking. I also developed a number of interactive artworks using tape loops, motion detectors and sound collages. These works were done in collaboration with Randall Evans and were featured in the Off Broadway Show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 2000.

From 2000–2002 I was graphics specialist at the Interactive Cognition Lab at UC San Diego, where I worked with Dr. David Kirsh who is well known for his research on the cognitive aspects of web design. The outcome of his experiences at the Lab was the launch of, a site devoted to multimedia learning and the research and development of my artistic ideas.

From 2001 – 2004 I operated Ice Gallery in San Diego as a space for contemporary art. Ice Gallery was the scene of many events including fotoaktions, art exhibitions, fundraisers as well as performances. The gallery was located in a former dry ice factory in San Diego's North Park neighborhood.

In 2003 I created the Keep on Crossin' Project in collaboration with Victor Payan.

Since 2005, I have been a teacher at Southwestern Community College in the School of Arts and Communications where I teach courses in painting, life drawing, design and printmaking.

In 2008 I produced a a documentary film, Fotoaktion! about the life and work of artist Dois "Boris" Berman.

In 2010 I began collaborating with Border Corps, a group of artists, performers and musicians who specialize in multimedia-based performances focused on the cultural and aesthetic concerns of Border Art.

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