RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Rye Brook artist Steve Perkins approaches art like a chameleon, adapting his style to his environment. An exhibit of his work created in Thailand will open at Serendipity Labs in Rye on July 25.
“The way I operate as an artist is somewhat different from some of my colleagues. I don’t associate with a certain style,” he said. “I’ve taken a different approach, which stems from studies in Buddhism, where I’m open in the moment to whatever’s in front of me.”
The current exhibit, “Lifestyles Art Project: Thailand” started in 2006 when he was approached by Bangkok art collector Jim Menges, who offered him an all-expenses-paid trip to Thailand to create works.
Perkins ended up producing more than 100 pieces of various sizes, which were then shown at a gallery in Bangkok in 2007. As a result of that show, Perkins was offered opportunities to travel and create in China, Taiwan, India and Istanbul.
The works that he produced altered radically depending on his location. The Thailand pieces are mostly paintings on canvass and paper. While in India he took a lot of photographs and produced digital photo collages, as well as some painting. He decided to document his trip to Turkey using his iPhone, and created a series of photos that he then manipulated with his computer.
He studied film in graduate school at Columbia University, and often includes video, some of which are straightforward and some that are more experimental. “I go wherever the idea takes me.”
Perkins also celebrates local art and artists through events at his home. Dubbed “Devour,” the events feature dinner, conversation and showcases of studio and performance art. Each “Devour” event is tied to a certain location. An India-themed night featured vegetable jalfrezi, pistachio ice cream made by his daughter Nicole and a yoga and meditation performance by artist Mario Galeano.
“I feel very strongly about my family and my ties to Rye Brook and the area,” he said. “I don’t want to just go to Thailand, I want the opportunity to work with people around here.”
His show at Serendipity Labs will open with a reception on July 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will run until Sept. 20. The show is hosted with assistance by the Rye Arts Center. Morgan's Fish House in Rye is offering a special Thai-inspired prix fixe meal for $30 for anyone who shows up with a card from the Serendipity show Thursday. Perkins will celebrate his first year of “Devour” with a dinner in the backyard of his Rye Brook home on Aug. 25, which will feature art, performances, gumbo and beer tasting.
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