October 2015

For the month of October, 2015

Featured Enamelist:  Juan Esteban Perez

Estaban Perez is a fine art enamelist who has been experimenting and innovating for forty years.  Born in 1939, he is part of that “second generation” of elders continuing to build a legacy of enamel fine art in the United States.  A prize-winning artist trained in multiple disciplines, Esteban Perez  was educated at the University of Chile’s School of Applied Arts and studied enameling on his own. His work is represented in several museum collections in the United States and South America.

Juan Esteban Perez Born 1939 "Burning Sunset" 1970, enamel on copper, silver wire, 9 x 9"

Juan Esteban Perez, “Burning Sunset” 1970

 Enamel on copper, silver wire
9 x 9″

 Burning Sunset is an early work combining opaque and transparent enamels to create a composition with layered depth.  In particular, the use of silver wire bent into open rectilinear shapes as a form of surface decoration is a technical innovation for 1970.  It adds textural interest and it works to repeat but soften the sharper lines of the abstract patchwork composition.

In this piece, Esteban Perez could be inviting the viewer to recall or imagine a landscape transformed by the streaming light of a setting sun. The bright, fiery reds capture attention as they pop and push against the lush green and velvety blacks.  The areas of sand and gold could conjure up the shimmer and haze of the hottest summer evening.  The white areas could suggest the mundane objects near and far that resist the artistry of the sun’s rays. Burning Sunset is a uniquely beautiful and decorative enamel, but so much more than a decoration.


Juan Esteban Perez , ” Silver and Platinum Square”, 1971

 Enamel on copper, silver wire, palladium
16 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (plaque); 22 3/4 x 22 3/4 x 1 in. (overall)

Completed in 1971, Silver and Platinum Square continues Esteban Perez’ composition and enamel experimentation.

Juan Esteban Perez , "Flight to Infinity" ,<br>/Enamel and Mixed Metal 1970

Juan Esteban Perez , “Flight to Infinity” , 1970

Enamel and Mixed Metal
16″ x 16″, without frame

Image Source – 1stdibs Art Collections

Flight to Infinity is another variation on Esteban Perez’ fascination with light, scale, and the surface qualities of vitreous enamel on copper.

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