Javier Peres: Maybe Baby

Gallerist, writer, international art dealer, today Javier Peres can even be defined as an artist. His first solo exhibition, “One of Ours,” is currently taking place at Grimmuseum and is presented alongside the screening of “My own private River,” the James Franco re-edit of  Gus Van Sant’s “My own private Idaho,” a 1991 drama starring River Phoenix and with a score by Michael Stipe.

Admiration for bleached hair 

The show is in fact somewhat of a tribute, despite Peres saying that it’s just an example of a historical moment involving the early 90s Hollywood icon and famous actor, River Phoenix, who died tragically at the age of 23 from an overdose outside of Johnny Depp’s infamous Viper Rooms.

Curiously it seems as though the artist actually met River in person and because of his deep admiration for him at the time, he bleached his own hair platinum-blonde just like the actor. 

A midlife crisis

Reflecting on his past, on the role of decisions and their consequences, and overwhelmed by a melancholic feeling on the missed other-lives he could have lived, his artwork focuses on the role of memory – both his own personal memory, and also what he considers to be part of the collective memory of his generation.

Same but different

Rio and Too many Rivers, all made in 2011, are two series of paintings depicting the iconic actor. At first they appear to look very similar and simply repetitive, but the background image and colours vary, and in the series “Too many Rivers,” different aspects of the actor are depicted. From shy to secure, the different poses are all taken from photo spreads which can be found on the internet (main part now of our collective memory).

Javier Peres - exhibition viewSame same but different?’ Photo: Lia Baroni, courtesy of Grimmuseum 

The use of mixed media in this exhibit call on past memories to re-emerge, and to top it off there is an artist book that accompanies the exhibit entitled “One of Ours” by Javier Peres. Printed and signed, the books are numbered in a limited edition of 100 copies.

Face yourself!

In life everyone gets to a point where it’s necessary to face the past in a self-reflective way. Missed opportunities, decisions and causality become huge issues to deal with. The show is a good example of how someone decided to deal with himself in a constructive and challenging way, projecting a new role. 

Ritualistic and profound — it’s a perfect occasion for those who want to jump back to the past and recall your own memories and thoughts.

  • Grimmuseum, “Javier Peres. One of ours”, January 12th – February 5th 2012, Wednesday – Sunday 2pm – 7pm