If you are a sports fan, chances are you have visually experienced the masterful talents of Dick Perez. Perez is internationally recognized as the preeminent artist within the world of baseball. He had the distinguished honor of being official artist of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York for over twenty years, and where many of his paintings still hang. He has painted portraits of every Hall of Fame inductee. Each year Perez paints the official portraits of newly inducted members for display at the Hall of Fame during the player’s induction year.
Perez has been an integral part of the Philadelphia Phillies organization since 1972 and is the team’s official artist. During his tenure with the Phillies he created yearbooks, posters, prints and has designed a variety of sales and promotional literature. He has been instrumental and influential in all artistic, advertising and design endeavors for the Phillies over the past three decades. Perez was the recipient of numerous design awards including his work in creating the official centennial logo of baseballs National League and 1983 World Series cover.
In addition to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, his paintings are housed in collections throughout North America including private collectors, corporations and Major League Baseball teams. Among owners of Perez art are former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. With numerous commissions and works to his credit, Perez’s name has become synonymous with Major League Baseball. He has, almost single-handedly, captured the best-known and most memorable moments of America’s pastime. His sports subjects, however, are not exclusive to baseball. He has produced many paintings covering football, basketball, tennis, soccer, golf, boxing, Olympic sports and hockey.
Perez has had one-man exhibitions at Bianco Gallery in Lahaska PA, Spectrum Art Gallery in New York City, Lafayette College in Easton, PA, The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and has been featured at the Chester County Historical Society in Westchester, PA. He has also participated in exhibitions including the Woodmere Art Museum, The Philadelphia Art Show, The U.S. Artists Show in Philadelphia, The Brooklyn College Museum, The Museum of Fine arts of Puerto Rico, The Bill Gladstone Baseball Collection exhibit at Lehigh University, The Armory Show in Philadelphia, The Lancaster Museum of Art, various exhibits at the Baseball Hall of Fame and other exhibits dedicated to sports art throughout the nation. In 1998 Perez was commissioned by the Pennsylvania State Bar Association to paint the official portrait of Robert N. C. Nix, Jr., retired Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The painting hangs permanently in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Perez reached another pinnacle in 2004 when he was honored with a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts museum in Philadelphia, PA, the nation’s first art museum and art teaching institution. His exhibition called Art At Home Plate – Philadelphia Baseball Legends on Canvas was the unveiling of a series of 32 original paintings commissioned by the Phillies to be the centerpiece of a permanent exhibition in the new Citizens Bank Park. Cooperstown Gallery, created specifically for their display, is a tribute to a century of Philadelphia baseball history and the Hall of Fame members from the Phillies, Athletics and former Native Sons.
In 2013 Perez had a one man exhibit at Agora Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan titled Dick Perez: a solo exhibition of baseball’s finest. A critical comment in the April-May issue of Gallery & Studio magazine acclaimed “…a long list of serious artists: Thomas Eakins, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Jacob Lawrence, John Sloan, Roy Lichtenstein, Elaine de Kooning, Raoul Dufy, Robert Rauschenberg—and, yes, even Andy Warhol!—have painted baseball pictures. That said, nobody has ever painted them more consistently or authentically than Dick Perez…” Perez’ former partnership in Perez-Steele Galleries, a well known publisher of sport art, resulted in the creation of a unique body of work that is regarded as the finest baseball art of the 20th Century. His works have become coveted collectibles in the sports memorabilia arena. He was the official artist of the Donruss Card Company painting the enormously popular and successful Diamond King series in the 1980s and 1990s. He is currently creating paintings for art cards published by the Topps Company.
Dick Perez, born in 1940 in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico lived from the age of six in New York City’s Harlem and moved to Philadelphia in 1958. He attended the Philadelphia College of Art (now The University of the Arts) and the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive training and experience in the advertising, graphic arts, printing and publishing industries. The culmination of these experiences resulted in his strong sense of design, command of composition and artistic maturity. He has been the subject of many print articles, radio and TV appearances.
In 2010 Perez published a massive 560-page leather-bound retrospective containing over 1400 reproductions of his works. The book was a finalist in the Casey Award competition for best baseball book of the year 2011, won a silver medal from IPPY (Independent Book Publishers) as best coffee table book of the year 2011, and the 2012 NeoGraphics Best in category award. The New York Daily News also voted it as the best holiday gift for 2010.
To sport enthusiasts and art lovers worldwide, Perez has captured the true essence of America’s favorite pastime. His absolute artistic abilities coupled with his depth of knowledge of the game and the players have resulted in a remarkable contribution to the richness of sports art. Former Baseball Fall of Fame president, Edward W. Stack said of Perez: He crystallizes our love of the National Game and does so by marrying his consummate craftsmanship with a visual point of view in which all the elements of subject, form, color and texture sire a freshness of image unique to this artist. Dick Perez is truly a Hall of Fame artist and we are honored that he is our friend.