For generations, ambitious and fascinated artists have flocked to the magnetic field that is New York City, in search of constant inspiration and the big break. The city’s electrifying effect often becomes an active element in the work that is subsequently produced, as evident in many artists on the contemporary art scene. HERCULES UNIVERSAL has selected a few artists who define what it means to be making art in New York today. While in many ways these artists are diverse, all are producing work that speaks of New York’s current artistic climate. How do they navigate and what are their vantage points? And what about their relationship with The City of Skyscrapers? Stay close, and in the next weeks you’ll find out…



During his time as a fine art student, Enoc Perez found himself at odds with his peers and fellow alumni, who picked on his “overly seductive and decorative” artworks. Perez, however, maintained a stern self-belief in the use of vibrant and dazzling colours, as can be seen in both his sensuous nudes and his paintings of modern architectural icons. Meet an artist who is stubbornly swinging his brushes in the name of pleasure and beauty.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your artwork. Painter. Living and working in NY. Love my family and my work. As many other artists, I search for truth, satisfaction and hopefully make something good along the way. How do you relate New York with your work? The subject of a lot of my work is architecture, something that we have plenty of in NY. Also New York is a town of artists and many other inspired people, which make for a dialogue and a state of mind that is hard to get elsewhere. Beauty, darkness and just plain craziness, all here, now. All this informs the art that comes out of here, so this is where I like to be. New York is an extremely dense environment both socially and physically. Which one would you say has a larger impact on your work? I would say the physical density always gets to me. Socially I can manage and when not I can always find a way to avoid it. The physical is inescapable. Interesting that you say density, because that is what the surface of my paintings are all about, density, time passing and decay. All visible at all times. How has the location you grew up in affected your process, and does this continue to influence your practice today? I grew up in Puerto Rico; it’s part of me. It comes out in the work when it wants to come out. I mean, I like palm trees, I like rum, I like a nice ass. And yes I have and continue to paint and sculpt all three. What you are currently working on? I’m working on a bunch of different things at the same time; it keeps me on my feet. I’m doing these silver leaf architecture paintings that I really like, also making my own Picassos because he is his own genre by now and is an artist that to me is most important. I’m also doing paintings and collages with abstract shapes on top of figurative images. Probably because I like Jean Arp. You know, busy is good.

Portraits by Cameron Krone. Text by Sol Marinozzi.
Stylist: Katie Burnett at Atelier Management.
Groomer: Rachel Tolin at The Wall Group.
Producer: Kim Wirt.