Mike Perry, Still Now is Here: Woolgather Together
1. The Emmy-award winning artist Mike Perry’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery, presenting a series of works the artist has been working on for decades
2. Emphasizing the artist’s blend of pop sensibility and limitless energy, the exhibition brings the excitement of bright neon, accentuated pastels, and soft curves that have become synonymous with his proficiency
Richard Taittinger Gallery presents the U.S. representation of the Emmy-award winning artist Mike Perry and to present his inaugural solo exhibition of works, Still Now is Here: Woolgather Together. A Brooklyn based artist with a severely devout following, Perry’s work is concentrated around the celebration of life. Born out of a period of lush output, this exhibit emphasizes Mike’s blend of pop sensibility and limitless energy, bringing the excitement of bright neon, accentuated pastels, and soft curves that have become synonymous with his proficiency.
This series of Perry’s work deals with the idea of staying in the moment despite the larger chaos in the world, that it is necessary to continue to experience wonder and in turn share that with those around us. Still Now is Here, a call back to Ram Dass, projects that positivity as a playful exploration of self. Nothing exemplifies this idea better than his gathering of surrealistic shapes from Putt & Ponder!, an art experience in the form of a miniature golf course constructed from one hundred percent recycled misfit materials found in his studio and erected by longtime collaborating partner J Bell. Inspired by memories of his father and a visit to the Kemper Art Museum as a child that featured a course done by various artists, Mike has been emotionally working on this for decades.
Inspired by the like of Reggie Watts, Keiichi Tanaami, Laura Owens, and Alexander Calder, Mike leans heavily on his community for moments of creative motivation. His deep engrossment in the endless possibilities of the outer spaces has merged seamlessly with his inner battles of self and social responsibilities. When working he is very much aware of time, allowing things to grow organically while examining all angles of possibility. This staging of curiosity and repurposing is very evident as the themes of Woolgather Together. When pushed to explain his approach to handling the influence of his creations, Perry states matter-of-factly that he is “making art for everyone,” and that “the ability to daydream is the only tool the artist needs.”
Perry notes that all of the figures in the exhibition are self-portraits. This idea is very evident in the piece The Performer that emphasizes the connective tissues of everything that surrounds us. It speaks to how one action can have such an unseen affect on everything else. It is within this butterfly effect concept, that Perry sees us all as cosmic performers. Here he is the troubadour, and as such, we see his hands reach out, and then the hands of others, and it is through this collaboration the concepts of unity flourish. Casting Spells speaks to this “bigger” magic and the idea that it is always there, surrounding us, despite the fact that most people do not see it. It wants to explore the reason why most people don’t want to see it. This emissivity that keeps us at a distance does not dismiss the idea that we can all connect through invisible hands. It is this magic, that feeling of positive power, that spurs Perry to continue down the paths of hope.
Still Now is Here is a journey that requires the shedding of fears of imperfect youth while developing the extrasensory astonishment of the mysterious. The exhibit moves the audience physically throughout in a way that promotes a bright hued attack on the senses, recalibrating the equilibrium that opens the mind to its spell. Much like the works of Keith Haring, Claes Oldenburg, and Red Grooms, Perry transcends actuality and further propels the proposition that it is admissible for art to be fun.