2006 Artist of the month – 2

24 February 2006 |

Javier P?©rez’s exquisite sensibility captivated me since I visited one of the most successfull shows the Guggenheimm Bilbao has ever exhibited. In La Torre Herida por el Rayo (The Tower struck by a Lightning), Javier P?©rez’s Levitas piece was an affront to the world of possibilities; it opened inspirational, aspirational and expressive doors.

Levitas, 1998

I had already seen his dresses made of cow’s intenstines and his hair masks on my faculty’s library catalogue collection. However, seeing the work live imbued it with ever more sensibility and fragility, something lacking in the expression of contemporary artists from Bilbao, especially males.

El baile del infinito

Since my first face-to-face encounter with his work in 2000, the name of Javier P?©rez has been mentioned in relation to important contexts of the contemporary art world, Basque, Spanish and international. In 2001, he represented Spain in the 49th Venice Biennale (together with the also Bilbao-born artist Ana Laura Al?°ez).

A trip to Venice, Javier P?©rez’s installation for the Spanish pavilion, Venice Biennale 2001

In 2005, he exhibited at the Palacio de Cristal, part of the Reina Sofia Museum. This beautiful gallery at the heart ofthee the Madrillian Retiro had been previously inhabited by artists of the stature of Michelangelo Pistoletto and Anish Kapoor.

Tempus Fugit

However, it was in his Artium retrospective in 2003 that Javier P?©rez’s ontological dimension hit me with it’s hard contingent stick. His displayed bodily fluids, the use of his own body in despairing, intense, eternally recurrent video sequences mesmerized my intellect as if it was me in paralel universe I was contemplating. My co-visitor felt a similar existential pull.

Latigo, 1998

Reflejos en un viaje, video installation / 60 escalones (perpetuum mobile), 1999

It is the overwhelming sensibility, the ontological certainty of our mortal selves and the aesthetic beauty and interdisciplinary character of his installations that has earned his the title of 2006 February Artist of the Month and a place in the 2006 Artist of the Year final.

For more information on Javier P?©rez’s work, visit


Artist of the month – 1: Pilar Albarracin

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