Ricardo Gómez Pérez
Ricardo Gómez Pérez (born 27 May 1952, in Caracas, Venezuela) is a renowned Venezuelan photographer. His work have been presented in galleries through many countries such as France, Sweden, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, United States, among others. One of his most notable artistic works is "Primeros Pasos" (First Steps), which makes black and white shots of his children, surrounded by backgrounds slightly out of focus. In the early 70's worked in Europe until returning in 1987 to Venezuela. He is still working with his partner Ricardo Jiménez, professional duo under the name of RICAR-2, specialized in corporate portraits and photographs for magazines such as Global Finance, BusisnessWeek, Voyageur Magazine, Gatopardo, Gerente, Complot Magazine, Ocean Drive, etc.
Gómez Pérez was born in May, 1952 in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1972, he studied gravure, design, serigraphy and photography at "Taller 4 Rojo" in Bogotá, Colombia. He bought his first camera, a Lubitel 6x6 and made his first snaps, which were printed later in issue #8 of European Photography Magazine. He hitch-hiked across Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In 1972, he moved to London and bought a Nikkormat. He studied English language and continued to work the techniques he learned at Bogotá. Later, he traveled to Zurich, where he shot his first series of photographs in black and white: empty landscapes with lot of snow
During 1974, he worked during the day in a vegetarian restaurant and studied part-time at the Sir John Cass College of Art in London. There, under the guidance of Mick Williamson he began to build his first portfolio of photographs taken in Zurich. He worried about not having people in his pictures, so he started as a discipline, to look for a subject. During a demonstration of Teddy Boys at Hyde Park, London, he began to document their community. Those images were the beginning of a portfolio, which he presented for acceptance at the London College of Printing in 1976. Later that year, a workshop with Charles Harbutt, at The Photographer's Place in Derbyshire, showed his way forward.
In 1977 he continued to complete his research on the Teddy Boys community and to photograph them obsessively all over Great Britain. In 1978, Gómez Pérez made his first trip to Barcelona, Spain to exhibit "Teddy Boys in London", where he met Joan Fontcuberta. At the same time, he started the series "Encuentros", Flash Movement in black and white taken with a Leica CL which he bought from Paulo Nozolino at London College of Printing. The same year, he met Kim Nygaard and Ricardo Jiménez, and together they met Manuel Álvarez Bravo, at Photographer's Gallery.
In 1979, Gómez Pérez finished his studies at London College of Printing. During the final exhibit at that college, he met Brian Griffin, who invited him to began working together. They did a lot of work for music and rock groups, such as Iggy Pop, Lene Lovich, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ultravox, Peter Gabriel, and Ian Dury. Gómez Pérez was also doing freelance photography for some London magazines like New Society, Campaign, Management Today and others. He met Andreas Müller-Pohle who asked him to be a correspondent for European Photography Magazine. At that time he also met Richard Misrach at the Photographer's Gallery in London. Until 1982, he worked as a freelance photographer in London, particularly for Management Today guided by art director Roland Schenk. He began to do portraits of businessmen and editorials for several London publications.
After ten years in London he moved to Paris in 1982. There he met Graciela Iturbide and Pedro Meyer, and they exhibited together at Studio 666 as part of The Latin American Photography at Paris. Additionally, his various solo exhibitions took him across Europe, throughout Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Spain.
He lived in Tarragona, Spain in 1984 thanks to David Balsells and Chantal Grande of Galería Forvm. There they exhibited and sold his photographs extensively and took care of him while in Spain. Furthermore he was the curator to "Semana International de la Fotografia", in Guadalajara, Spain. After he went to Lisbon, Portugal where he stayed with his friend Paulo Nozolino. Finally he decided to go back to Caracas, Venezuela after 12 years of absence, to spend time with his mother.
Return to Caracas
Gómez Pérez obtained a grant from the Venezuelan Culture Ministry to continue his urban landscapes in Caracas. It took him one year to prepare a 30 photographs portfolio. All photographs were made with the format Pentax 6x7. In 1987 he began to work with Ricardo Jimenez as a freelance photographer team, which they called: RICAR-2. Together they had done portraits of many businessmen in Venezuelan Society at the time. They started to work for Revista Gerente, thus producing an extensive portfolio of portraits of the businesspeople who ran the country.
A limited edition portfolio was published in 1992: Memento in collaboration with Andreas Muller-Pohle, Joan Fontcuberta, John Webb, Philippe Scholz-Ritterman, Arno Jansen, Bernard Plossu, dedicated to the memory of a common friend: Derek Bennet. Later that year, Gómez Pérez was invited to Houston Fotofest'92, and again in 1994 (Houston Fotofest'94) where he traveled to Houston to attend the opening day of The Global Environment exhibit. He then received support from Polaroid to work in black and white/positive-negative material, he then began a new series of nudes and portraits of women.
In 1991, Gómez Pérez's first son, Mauricio with his wife Gisela Viloria was born. Two years later in July 1993, Samuel and Nicolás, his twin sons, were born. In 1994, consequently to the birth of his children, Gómez Pérez began a new series of photographs, the resulting portfolio was called Primeros pasos (First Steps) and is made up of out of focus, black and white pictures of his sons.
In 1994 the first issue of Extra Camera Magazine was published; he worked as the coordinator to this quarterly magazine between 1994-1998.
In 1997 Gómez Pérez curated the first exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe at the Museo Alejandro Otero in Caracas, Venezuela.
In 2001 he was invited by Pedro Meyer to exhibit his part of his First Steps portfolio at ZoneZero. At present, he lives with his family in Caracas, earns a living as a freelance photographer under the firm RICAR-2 with Ricardo Jiménez, and continues to work on his personal art work.
- Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
- Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Museum Nicephore Niépce, France.
- Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany.
- Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France.
- J. Paul Getty Museum, San Francisco, United States.
- The Royal Bibliothèque, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Forvn Gallery Collection, Tarragona, Spain.
- 1979: First Prize, Asahi Pentax Award, London, United Kingdom.
- 1976: Swiss Landscapes, Battersea Arts Center, London, United Kingdom.
- 1978: Teds in London, Galería Process, Barcelona, Spain.
- 1979: Teds in London, National Poetry Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- 1980: Teds in London, Photographer's Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada.
- 1981: Encuentros, Novun Gallery, Hannover, Germany.
- Encuentros, Galería Forvm, Tarragona, Spain.
- Encuentros, Contrast Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- Encuentros, Studio 666, Paris, France.
- Encuentros, Galerie Junod, Lausanne, France.
- Encuentros, Camera Obscura Galerie, Stockholm, Suecia.
- Encuentros, Nikon Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland.
- Nudes, Centre Culturel de Bretigny, France.
- Teddy Boys dans la Cite, FNAC Galleries, France.
- 1985: Encuentros, Galeria Visor, Valencia, Spain.
- 1997: Primeros pasos, Tijuana Cultural Center, Fotoseptiembre, Mexico.
- Open Photography 1978, Midland Group Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
- Punks & Teds, The Photographre's Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- Mouvement/ Corps, Galerie Viviane Esders, Paris, France.
- The Undecisive Moment, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
- Gallery artists, David Dawson Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- New Work In Britain, The Photographer's Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- Young Photographer, Rencontres International de la Photographie, Arles, France.
- Floods of Light, Flash Photography 1851-1981, Photographer's Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
- European Photographers, Rencontres International de la Photographie, Arles, France.
- 1983: Le Corps, Photographie Ouverte, Charleroi, Belgium.
- 1984: La Photographie Creative, Pavillon des Arts,curated by J.C.Legmany, Paris, France.
- 1985: Das Aktfoto, Muchner Stadmuseum, Munich, Germany.
- Le Temps D'un Mouvement, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France.
- A Marginal Body, The Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia.
- 1988: Gallery's Artists, Galerie Jutta Robner-Kropp, Stuttgart, Germany.
- 1994: The Global Environment, Fotofest, Houston, United States.
- 1996: Kobe Fund, Center of Photography, Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics, Japan.
- 1998: Fotográfos Venezolanos Contemporáneos, Dubois Gallery, Lehigh University, Pensilvania, United States.
- 2000: Utopolis, Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela.
- 2003: Fantasía y Realidad Latina, Eye-See Gallery, Belgium.
- Curated by Castellote, Alejandro (2004), Mapas Abiertos, Fotografía Latinoamericana 1991-2002, Spain: Lunwerg Editores, ISBN 978-84-7782-942-3
- Nueve Miradas: Bigott en sus 80 años, Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Bigott, 2001, ISBN 978-980-6428-26-3
- Curated by Bracho, Edmundo (1998), Ten Contemporary Venezuelan Photographers: "De-Centering Visions". Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pensilvania, USA: Du Bois Gallery.
- Curated by Gómez Pérez, Ricardo (1997), Robert Mapplethorpe Catalog, Caracas Venezuela: Museo Alejandro Otero.
- Auer, Michel; Auer Michele (1997), Encyclopédie internationale des photographes des débuts à nos jours, [CD-Rom] Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Éditions Ides et Calendes.
- Watriss, Wendy; Baldwin, Fred (1994), The Global Environment, Houston, USA; Fotofest'94.
- Müller-Pohle, Andreas (Vol. 13, nr.3, 1992), European Photography #51 Gottigen, Germany.
- Borhan, Pierre (1990), La photographie a la croisee des chemins, Paris, France; La Manufacture, ISBN 978-2-7377-0233-4
- (1990), 150 Years of Photography, Stockholm, Sweden; Fotografiska Museet.
- Müller-Pohle, Andreas (Vol. 10, nr.4, 1992), European Photography #40 Gottigen, Germany.
- Curated by Merewheter, Charles (1987), A Marginal Body, The Photographic Image in Latin America, Sydney, Australia; The Australian Centre for Photography.
- (1985), Popular Photography: Photography Annual 1985, New York, USA; Ziff-Davis Publishing Company.
- Auer, MIchel; Auer, Michele (1985), Photographers Encyclopedia International, Geneve Switzerland; Camera Obscura, ISBN 978-2-903671-04-4
- Kohler, Michael (1985), Das Akfoto, Munich, Germany; Museum fur Kunst
- (1985), Art Das Kunstmagazin, Hamburg, Germany; Gruner Und Jahr Ag & Co.
- Lemagny, Jean-Claude (1984), La photographie creative, Paris, France; Contrejour, ISBN 978-2-85949-058-4
- (1982), Floods of Light: Flash Photography 1851-1981, London, UK; Photographers Gallery, ISBN 978-0-907879-01-5
- Naggar, Carole (1982), Dictionnaire des Photographes, Paris, France; Editions du Seuil, ISBN 978-2-02-006288-6
- Müller-Pohle, Andreas (Vol. 2, nr.4, 1981), European Photography #8 Gottigen, Germany.
- Müller-Pohle, Andreas (Vol. 1, nr.1, 1980), European Photography #1 Gottigen, Germany.
- (1979) Zoom Magazine #6, London, UK.
- (1979), British Journal of Photography Annual, London, UK.
- Ricar2, Official webpage of RICAR-2.
- RGP, Ricardo Gómez Pérez work.
- ZoneZero, Photos of Primeros Pasos.
- Noorderlicth Photofestival, Photos of Noorderlicth Photofestival 2002.
- Diccionario Biográfico de las Artes Visuales en Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 2005
- (French) Auer, Michele; Auer, Michel (1985), Photographers Encyclopaedia International 1839 to the Present, Hermance, Switzerland: Editions Camera Obscura, ISBN 9782903671044
- (French) Bohan, Pierre (1990), La photographie a la croisee des chemins, Paris, France: La Manufacture, ISBN 978-2-7377-0233-4
- Melis, Wim (2002), Mundos Creados:Latin American Photography, Gronningen, Netherlands: Stichting Aurora Borealis, ISBN 90-76703-19-1
- (Spanish) Diccionario Biográfico de las Artes Visuales en Venezuela 1, Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 2005, ISBN 980-6420-18-7