Artist: Pérez Elle
photography | Inkjet print | 1127x787mm | 2018

Elle Pérez’s photographs show the experience of pushing the body. Pérez’s subjects transform themselves, altering their bodies to create pleasure, pain, communion, and self-recognition. A person stares into the camera with desire, wielding a muscled arm. Bruises blossom around the eyes of a woman recovering from facial feminization surgery. “DYKE” seeps from carved skin, spelled out in blood. A luminous hand holds a bottle of testosterone. By simultaneously invoking play, nostalgia, eros, pain, and beauty, the images testify to the richness of transforming what is assumed to be definitive or immutable. These photographs are “neither reflections of reality nor imprints of personhood,” says the artist—instead, Pérez’s work is a study of the human process of creating a new reality for oneself, and an assertion that the photographic process works similarly: not replicating the world, but instead transfiguring it. ( Image courtesy the artist and 47 Canal, New York)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)