Athenaeum Music & Arts Library Joseph Clayes III Gallery

Joseph Clayes III Gallery


Perry Vásquez: Under the Perfect Sun

September 22 - November 3, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, September 21, 6:30-8:30 PM


Vásquez’s new series of paintings, UNDER THE PERFECT SUN, focuses on images of burning palm trees against empty blue skies, placing it in the California pop tradition of painters like Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari. Working within tightly framed vertical formats, Vásquez casts an objective and analytical eye on the palms as vexed symbols of Southern California's modern lifestyle, characterized by emphasis on technological innovation, social mobility, experimentation, mass entertainment, and cultural novelty. The title for the show is taken from Mike Davis, Jim Miller, and Kelly Mayhew’s history of San Diego, Under the Perfect Sun. Jim Miller will read from his novel Last Days of Ocean Beach on the night of the opening, Friday, September 21, from 6 to 6:30 PM.


Perry Vásquez is an established visual artist, activist and educator. His Keep on Crossin’ project —created in collaboration with Victor Payan —has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, UC Riverside's Sweeney Art Gallery, and as part of Art San Diego’s Open Walls Project. In 2010 Vásquez established the Border Corps, a collective of Southern California-based performers, artists and musicians who experiment with new forms of performance art, interactive theater, art history, poetry, literature and video. In 2017, Vásquez released his Dante-inspired concept album, The Gates of Heck. Recent exhibitions include “California Connections: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego,” at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, and “Intergalactic Dreaming,” at San Diego Lindbergh Field Airport. He teaches drawing and painting at Southwestern College and currently serves as the exhibition coordinator for the Southwestern College Art Gallery.