We had the good fortune of connecting with Diego Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diego, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
There have been two important risks in my life and, therefore, my career. The first one was when I decided to move to the US. It was a big risk because I almost made this decision in the spur of the moment. I was living in Mexico City, and even I had scheduled several exhibitions at the time, the sales weren’t so good. The art market it’s difficult in Mexico. So, when I was invited to participate in a show for the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix, I started to make connections and I just decided to stay. The assimilation process into a new culture and a new market weren’t easy, but if I haven’t made the decision, I wouldn’t be able to build my career. The second risk that I believe is quite delicate is the motif of my paintings. It is difficult to work with sarcasm and social criticism because sales can be tricky, but I keep focus on my inspiration and beliefs. My paintings must work as a mirror to society in order to keep working in a more inclusive society and values.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been painting professionally since I was 12 years old. I was fortunate enough to attend an art-focused junior high and stay in this course until my bachelor’s degree. So, my technique is very clean, and I’m quite versatile as an oil painter. I can paint with a hyperrealistic style or even an abstract. Also, I believe that the storytelling behind my paintings is a unique feature of my art, especially for the pinch of sarcasm. The path of an artist’s career is not easy, I have to say that the act of endurance for this profession has to be present at every second. Patience, effort, and focus on your goals are the main ingredients to be an artist. I like to think that I work within these values and always committed to improving ourselves as a community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I work at least 10-12 hrs daily, so I’m almost a hermit. But when I go out my favorite spots are Tempe lake in the afternoons, Papago Park for a wonderful picnic and, I love Phoenix Downtown and its amazing murals from Washington street to McDowell.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
You can’t build a career without the support of others. For my recognition as an artist in Phoenix, I must give credit to my curator Mike Oleskow. He was the one that opened the path for me, gave me advice and space to show my work. Also, the support of my friends and family has been essential like the constant encouragement of Susan Carrick, and the love of Yolanda and Mike Baker. And, of course, my wife Mariana, who is always at my side managing the business.