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Perkins, Paul

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1840 S. Halsted St., Unit 1R
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Paul was born in Oklahoma City on June 21, 1973 and this is where he attended grammar school and high school. In the years that Paul went to public school he exhibited a strong interest in the practice of creating visual art. Paulâ€"s mother, who is half Creek Native American and a Native American counselor and teacher working for the Oklahoma City public schools, was a continuous source for inspiration. She helped Paul understand the importance for creativity in the arts. Also, because the Native American language uses more symbols than letters, he was introduced to the craft of creating at a very early age.

Following a visit by a college representative to his high school when he was in ninth grade, Paul became interested in attending college at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The idea of surrounding himself with like-minded individuals at this school was his motivation and his dream. This became a reality in 1992 when he was awarded with a Merit from the Art Institute as a senior at U.S. Grant public high school. Although he was offered several scholarships including the Scholastic Regional Scholarship Award, he chose to attend The Art Institute. Taking advantage of all this institution had to offer; he worked hard to earn a BFA with a focus in studio sculpture.

While attending college, Paul paid his bills by acquiring a trade in the culinary arts. Since then, he has worked on almost every level in the restaurant industry, from cooking casual cuisine to writing fine dining menus and managing the back of the house. The trade remains to be a means for some financial stability.

After college, Paul continues to pursue his studio art practice, working almost daily. He has also completed commissioned pieces for both public and private spaces. While in his studio, Paul spends his time creating art that resolves things. It is here where he is most able to respond to the world around him. Like the Creek Native American language where symbols are used to communicate, Paulâ€"s language is his art.

The painting, â€"The Third Of May 1808,” by Francisco de Goya (1814) captures one of the most powerful images in art. A man is there with a loose bright shirt unbuttoned from neck to chest, his arms and hands outstretched above his head and waving like the wings of a bird. He is on his knees staring into a faceless firing squad. His last thoughts seem to register in his wide tearful eyesâ€"so long my life. The central image, or the man surrendering his life, has never died. He has lived facing death every day for almost 200 years. The bullets are frozen in time. They have never made it to their destination. They have not yet taken this manâ€"s life, Goya pauses time. He makes death endless making life endless. He puts a delicate piece of china on the very edge of a high shelfâ€"making seconds in time fragile.

As an artist, I am after a solution. I am searching for resolution to my continuous ideas and perceptions. My job as an artist is to simulate and amplify our surroundings. Art activates our senses and it is my duty to provide arrangements for those senses to then punctuate what we already know. Unless my work can shelter or feed, it is nothing more than another problem taking up space, but it is the problems we make that then give the possibility to create change.
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