“I’m quite interested in how different cultures choose to present themselves and what they consider beautiful.”
Gazing about gallerist
Javier Peres’s sun-drenched apartment in Berlin’s Schöneberg district, one is struck by the seamless juxtaposition of works by contemporary artists and pieces crafted by African artists more than a century ago. “I rarely display more than 30 African works at a time. We live quite minimally, and the challenge is always how to exhibit the pieces as beautifully as possible alongside our collection of contemporary art. For me, it is important to show both types of objects on equal footing, without any hierarchy.” ¶ Peres says his insatiable appetite for African ethnographic art was sparked by the 1984 landmark exhibition Primitivism in 20thCentury Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. However, it wasn’t until around 2000 that he began collecting in earnest. Since then, the Cuban-born dealer has amassed 150 or so prime African pieces, which he rotates within the gallerylike space that he and his husband Benoît Wolfrom bought and renovated in 2014, stripping it down to its bare essentials.
Collector Javier Peres has artfully paired an Igbo figure from Nigeria with Ajarb Bernard Ategwa’s acrylic on canvas SweetRasta (2018).