By the time the visual artist Régulo Pérez (b. 1929) rejected the 1st Prize at the Exposición Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 1972, he had already been awarded approximately 14 prizes, including the National Painting Prize at the 28th Salón Oficial (1967). That may be among the reasons why Régulo rejected the prize, along with other reasons set forth in his letter: the mediocrity of the competitions and of Venezuelan artistic production. Another underlying reason for his rejection of this prize may have been the financial aspect of the prize, the gold medal and the diploma.
Nonetheless, the artist’s statements reveal an artist dedicated to freedom and revolutionary in the sense of breaking with the system and defending the ideals of the artist’s cultural responsibility. Certainly, his artistic career and the prizes awarded up to that time give us an idea of the ideological strength and commitment assumed by Régulo Pérez toward art and Venezuela.
At the same time, the letter provides a text critical of the times, in which the writer, speaking from the perspective of a participant, points out the deficiencies of the competitions. These include the art produced for these events, since the biennials and Salons have become corrupt, limited and stuffy. In this regard, this text is important as a primary source, offering a specific perspective on the history of painting prizes in Venezuela (a precedent and a significant critical opinion).
[Regarding this artist’s work, see the following texts in the ICAA digital archive: by Rafael Pineda, both “Régulo y el eje Orinoco – Pintura” (1154220) and “Naturaleza y cultura” (taken from the catalogue Régulo en Acquavella, Caracas, 1981)” (1154268); by Bélgica Rodríguez “Un nuevo lenguaje” (1157776); by Roberto Guevara “Régulo y la cultura visual” (1157759); Jesús Sanoja Hernández’s analysis “Prólogo serio para el más serio de nuestros humoristas” (1154188); by Mingui Betancourt “Pinto vampiros porque no sé pintar flores” (1157808); “Conversando con Régulo Pérez : Entrevistado por Berna Parra, María Eugenia Sánchez y Margarita Villarroel” (1154236); a partial chronology by Ivette Villarreal “La salvación por la imagen” (1154300); and Oswaldo Barreto’s analysis, “Régulo Pérez : La ciudad se revierte” (1154172).]