Park of Dreams: On Na'ye Perez

Park of Dreams: On Na'ye Perez

ART FOR CHANGE and Prospect Park Alliance present Park of Dreams, a public art exhibition featuring larger-than-life work by leading New York-based contemporary artists, on view now through Spring 2024. Included in this exhibition is Brooklyn-based artist Na'ye Perez

Na’ye Perez honors his Caribbean heritage in striking mixed-media artworks that amplify the Black experience. Born to a Cuban mother and Haitian father in Los Angeles, where he spent the first four years of his life, Perez moved around a lot as a child and has lived in Columbus, Ohio, Camden, New Jersey, and now Brooklyn, New York. Perez incorporates photography, cut-outs from old Hip Hop magazines, Swisher Sweets cigars, and discarded plastic potato chip bags he sources throughout Brooklyn to bring attention and consideration to underserved Black communities. A staunch advocate for accessibility through community, Perez centers his practice around empowering symbolism found in the work of Black thought leaders, and fashions his mixed-media paintings through remixing and sampling materials, similarly to how rappers borrow musical elements from blues and jazz artists.

Na'ye Perez’s Higher, Thy Will / Peace of Mind is available for purchase at, with 5% of the purchase price, up to $15,000, of each limited edition print sold being donated to the Prospect Park Alliance. In keeping with all ART FOR CHANGE releases, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds from each print sale.



Higher, Thy Will / Peace of Mind is a work that speaks to the intersection of community and identity. The subject, a friend of the artist’s from California, is at the crest of her high-jump, her locs fall through the air as she is silhouetted against a pale blue background with light blue tropical leaves. Her teal uniform pops with a hot pink and blue hibiscus pattern and a yellow stripe, complemented by the black, green and yellow in her socks. At the peak of this triumph, Perez melts away the competitive environment and centers Black Presence, both physically and metaphorically with resilience and grace that success in track and field demands. Whether through the colors in the socks—the same shades as the Pan-African Flag designed by political activist and writer, Marcus Garvey in 1920, as well as the Jamaican and Guaynese flags of the subject’s heritage—or his characteristic melange of found cultural ephemera, this nod captures the artist’s expanding references and rich communication of place. The artist has hand-embellished a portion of the edition with additional lino block prints collaged with magazine cutouts and painted elements, making each piece unique.

Installation view of Na’ye Perez’s large-scale landscape, What You Know Bout Love, (2023).

In an interview on his recent show What You Know Bout Love, Na’ye Perez spoke with BRIC Arts Media about his show, his practice, and his inspiration. In wanting to recognize the show as an ode to Brooklyn, Perez explains the inspiration behind the title of the show: a Pop Smoke song. Perez notes that with all of his artwork, he “always tries to connect it to music that’s vital to [him] at the time.” Instead of having the show induce an intimate moment between individuals, he wanted it “to be an intimate moment between community space.” Holding true to his sentiment, Perez frequently incorporates localized objects such as sand from Coney Island or his own subway card to use in his work.

Detail images of Na’ye Perez’s What You Know Bout Love (2023).