Irene Pérez Pérez was born and raised in the Venezuelan neighborhood La Candelaria, a traditional settling point for ‘Canarios’ [from Canary Islands] immigrants since Colonial times. Being the daughter of Canary Islanders who came towards dawn of the twentieth century, it is certain that her tough character was molded by the libertarian tradition that was started centuries ago in this neighborhood – towards 1750, sixty years before the declaration of Venezuela´s Independence – when Francisco de León, her compatriot, became main character of the most genuine rebellion against the absolutist power of the Spanish crown in America.
After having tried to lead her adult life as the social patterns of “good manners” had established, she got married and tried to become a housewife, when one day, towards 1992, Irene clearly perceived - maybe by taking a turn around a corner - her inner voices that were demanding a different path for her personal fulfillment; and without further a do, she enrolled at ´Cristobal Rojas´ [Visual Arts School], which wasn’t far from her home. This is how her journey as a sculptor began.
Dragging difficult financial issues, she tried - even as a student - to establish a professional link within the art market. By granting privilege to the female figure (and without a doubt reflecting the painful problems of every young girl) she managed to sell - here and there - the results of her first attempts, by using material and spiritual resources to continue her struggle for clearing her path.
All of this until the year 2000 maybe, when in the midst of an existential crisis – given that she disliked what she had done so far – she got involved in a philosophical reflection group, where she met Rafael, her current love interest.
This is the moment where everything changed for Irene. A lot more confident about herself and her capacity, and enjoying the growing reception that her works had gotten from the people, she then focused her search in a new theme: balance of the figures – male or female – within space. From this moment on, her figures would levitate or hang in some way in a spatial surrounding carefully conceived as emptiness.
They are sometimes structured with a slight geometrical signal – a ring, for instance – only determined by the characteristic of the molding itself.
However, Irene is still a fledgling sculptor, who is just starting to experiment the vast difficulties involved in the creative act. Nonetheless, being the owner of accurate intuitions, she has before her the great commitment of turning these difficulties into personal language (going from power to act, Saint Thomas Dixit). A more refined – or more deliberate, maybe – visual understanding of the human form, I dare to say, is one - perhaps the most important - of the challenges she will have to face in the future; A condition to ease the tension – which is never settled in the art process – between idea and her material realization.
I believe - intuitively – that Irene has within the strength of her character, which was formed, as I said earlier in this text, in the libertarian tradition of her ancestors, the condition to reach success in this fundamental task.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2005