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Elle Pérez: Intimacies


  • Exhibition

  • On view July 22, 2024 through July 7, 2024
  • B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building

“Photography is an act of love.” This statement by photographer and critic Hervé Guibert is well illustrated in the subtle but striking work of the Bronx-born Puerto Rican photographer Elle Pérez. Pérez has become known for photographs that capture with a unique sense of ease the intimacy between friends, lovers, bodies, and nature—as well as the intimate relationship between photographer and subject. Pérez works with the Muay Thai, queer, and artist communities that are part of their daily life. Though their photographs are often mistaken for documentary images, Pérez collaborates with their subjects, using the deep trust that exists to produce images that exude openness and vulnerability. Connection and fluidity are central themes within their practice, the networks of associations that exist between their varied subjects—bodies of water, moments of human touch—as much a part of the meaning as the individual works.

About the Artist:
Elle Pérez (b. 1989, Bronx, New York) is an artist based in New York City. They received a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore in 2011 and an MFA from Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut in 2015 and participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine that same year. Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland (2022); the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2021); Public Art Fund, New York (2019); and MoMA PS1, New York (2018). They were included in the 59th International Venice Biennale (2022) and the Whitney Biennial (2019) and have been featured in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2022), Ballroom Marfa, Texas (2022), Renaissance Society, Chicago (2020); Barbican Centre, London (2020); Brooklyn Museum, New York 2019). Pérez’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Block Museum of Art, Illinois; the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

In 2023, Pérez won the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. They have also been awarded the Civil Society Institute Fellowship, the Theo Westenberger Foundation Photography Prize, the Bronx Recognizes Its Own grant, and the Jane Meyer Photography Traveling Fellowship. They were an artist-in-residence at MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, and Lightwork, New York, in 2022. Pérez is Assistant Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University and has taught at the Yale School of Art, Cooper Union, and Williams College. From 2016 to 2021, they were a Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The artist is represented by 47 Canal, New York and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles.

Download a PDF of the exhibition here. 

slip curve (detail), 2021
archival pigment print
14 × 11 in (35.56 × 27.94 cm)
17 × 14 × 2 in (43.18 × 35.56 × 5.08 cm) (framed) Edition of 5 plus II AP
Image courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York