Interview With Mandy Lyn Perez

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I'm a tom-boy, a do-it-yourselfer, a gymnast, a painter, and a scholar. I try to stretch every morning, and sometimes go running, I eat healthy when I can, but it's not a rule. I've been listening to a lot of Bowie, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Imogene Heap, Nim Vind, and Black Sabbath lately. My husband is a painter as well and has been a huge inspiration to my artistic path- we first met when I was 19 and I learned to have a strong work ethic and dedication from him.
I make sculptural paintings with a bold graphic look. I paint on wood panels that I build with a hand saw and screws, and use painting materials in every unconventional way I can invent. The paintings dimensional quality comes from canvas having been wrapped around the panel multiple times, painted on, cut off, cut into, ripped off, and re wrapped and painted again.
 

Birthday Cake Oil paint, gold leaf, gesso, acrylic, and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel 32" x 24"

Birthday Cake
Oil paint, gold leaf, gesso, acrylic, and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel
32" x 24"

Cherry Moon Oil paint, gold leaf, gesso, acrylic, and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel 11" x 9"

Cherry Moon
Oil paint, gold leaf, gesso, acrylic, and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel

11" x 9"

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
My inspiration comes from materials. I love paint and sparkles and canvas and wood. I love colors and textures. visually I draw inspiration from electronics (tv's, iPods, iPhones, computers), punk and ska posters, the 70's, Nickelodeon in the 90's, and beach furniture.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My most important tools are sitting in a cup right alongside my brushes, and honestly I use them more than my brushes. in that cup I have scissors, a box cutter, pliers, a flathead screwdriver, and a stick. The power drill gets used a lot too. 

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
I've got 4 recurring themes: line, dots, cutouts, and layovers. It's exciting to figure out how many ways those things can be rearranged, reimagined and laid out. I'm not stuck to those themes though, I'll expand it. I have been adding arches lately.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
Yah I definitely relate to other artists' work. My husband, Gabriel Luis Perez' work has always been a big influence on me. His compositional style really gets me as well as his color schemes. I'm also super influenced by Bret Slater's work. I saw his paintings for the first time a few years ago in a New American Paintings mag. That was the first time I had actually appreciated abstract work-- because I could see that what he was making were objects that presented as paintings. I also love Caroline Larsen, Todd Bienvenu, and Paul DeMuro's paintings. On a different note, I love Marilyn Manson, he's a super semiotics dude if you look at him in art terms. I love that he will turn anything sacred against itself.

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
"Makin' it" in the art world is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Sharkface Acrylic and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel 28" x 24"

Sharkface
Acrylic and super gel on canvas adhered to wood panel
28" x 24"

MTV Oil paint, acrylic, super gel, and cardboard on canvas adhered to wood panel 49" x 48"

MTV
Oil paint, acrylic, super gel, and cardboard on canvas adhered to wood panel

49" x 48"

Thanks, Mandy!  Be sure to check out details of her work in our current exhibition, Absolutely Aware, and more of her work at MandyLynPerez.com