Cue Perry… Redefining art, by not defining it at all

BRASHEAR GRADUATE CUE PERRY has sold more than 200 paintings in the past two years. He will have a “live painting” at Repair the World in East Liberty, Jan. 12.

A school teacher by day, an artist by night, C.B. Perry is, “the Creative Manifestation of Quentin Perry.”

The Pittsburgh Brashear graduate, with a few strokes of a paintbrush, has decided not to define his role as an artist in Pittsburgh. From risky, riveting body painting to culturally-relevant portraits, the 32-year-old artist, also known as “Cue,” has remained unapologetic about his journey as an illustrator.

As a kid growing up in Manchester, Perry “was too artsy for the hood kids and too hood for the artsy kids. If you didn’t play sports or weren’t a part of the street lifestyle you were considered a lame.” As a result, Perry kept his passion for art “hidden.”

It wasn’t until he was 30 years old and financially broke when he decided to begin a career in art. “People kept telling me I should take art serious, so I decided to do exactly that.”

While Perry enjoys how art allows him to express himself creatively, he dislikes the lack of Black art that’s represented. “Growing up, I personally didn’t know any Black artists,” Perry told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “I didn’t hear of the term ‘Black artist’ until I was about 15. Representation matters.”

Perry, along with 19 other artists, will soon be recognized in a Black History Month campaign with Pittsburgh Public Schools. This project will introduce Black artists in Pittsburgh who are currently making a contribution to their community and the arts.

When asked about his specific art form, Perry replied, “I don’t necessarily have a style; it’s a gift and a curse. What sets me apart is the fact that I don’t have a style. I am not limited to a specific discipline.”

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