Monica is a Uruguayan abstract painter currently based in Los Angeles. Her focus centers on exploring how our connections to land, lineage, and identity shape us individually, within our families, and as a society. “Ten years ago, I made a life-changing decision to leave my design career and pursue painting. Last year, I was fortunate to do an informal residency at CAMPO in Garzon, Uruguay. Driving on a dirt road, surrounded by grazing animals and the scent of eucalyptus trees, I felt an overwhelming burst of emotion. I stopped the car, stepped out, and touched the soil, discovering uncharted pathways within myself. Throughout history, wood, soil, and fire have been integral to artistic rituals, carrying the imprints of countless generations. Now, these materials serve as a conduit for cultural and ancestral connections in my work.”



Monica Perez migrated from Uruguay to the United States as a child, returning last year for a 2-week informal residency in Garzon.  She was seeking reconnection with her homeland, ancestry, and the diverse layers of her identity. This emotional experience initiated an exploration of personal histories, delving into narratives of loss and reconnection. Diverging from her conventional painting style, Perez crafted a site-specific installation in an abandoned house, merging paint and canvas with local elements like soil, wood, and ash. The work scrutinizes the multifaceted meanings of house and home, evoking an in-betweenness where the threads of the past interweave with the present. Perez poses a fundamental question about confronting one’s past.  Her answer lies in the title: May We Be Free.