Raphael Perez was born in New York City to Helen Rodriguez and Lucas Perez. He died on July 8 at the age of 70 in his Kingston home. Perez attended New York City schools, then studied graphic design at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He worked as an art director at a New York City-based advertising agency and as a freelance graphic designer.
He founded the decorative painting business Interior Concepts together with Angelo Bruno of Kingston and the business continued successfully for 30 years. Interior Concepts provided decorative finishes for homes on Park Avenue, in Palm Beach, the Hamptons, and Greenwich Conn., with clients that included celebrities and newsmakers. The decorative work provided by Interior Concepts was sought after by top decorators and designers and was featured in magazines such as Elle, Decor and Architectural Digest, as well as the book New York Interiors. Perez also studied fine art with several teachers, including romantic landscape painter Kevin Cook. Perez painted landscapes, eventually branching out into portraits and paper art. He enjoyed traveling to Europe, recording his trips in subsequent paintings and deriving inspiration for new art projects.
Twenty-two years ago, Perez founded the Valley Boys, a gay men's social club in the Hudson Valley, which still continues to meet today.
Perez will be remembered as a good friend to all who knew him and a devoted son, brother and uncle. He is survived by his mother Helen Garcia of Kingston, his brother Lucas Perez of Kingston, his sisters Arlene and Beverly Perez of Orlando, Florida; his nephew Sylvan Perez of Brooklyn, his niece Odessa Perez of Grass City, California; his niece Shahzadi Perez of Dereel Victoria, Australia; his grand-nephew Donovan Perez-Champe, and grand-niece Rhiannon Perez.
The funeral service and interment will be held privately.