PAINTINGS

SELECTED PIECES

    CLICK ON SERIES TITLE • THEN CLICK ON PAINTINGS
  • WALKIN' NY
  • THE WALL
  • DON'T SHED NO TEARS
  • GOOD TIMES
  • ERASURE-Leah Peterson

BIOGRAPHY

PUBLISHED EXCERPTS

"Denis Peterson holds a Painting MFA from Pratt where he taught drawing under a prestigious teaching fellowship while restoring 16th and 17th century Flemish paintings for public museum collections. Among the first Photorealists to emerge in New York, his earliest series of works were exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, one of the premier art institutions in the world. His more recent hyperrealist pieces have shown at major museums and galleries throughout the US and Europe. Many of his groundbreaking works can be found among the most notable art collections worldwide.

He is recognized as a primary architect of Hyperrealism, a splinter movement from Photorealism which idealized and fetishized icons of contemporary culture in a detached and at times, banal framework. Abandoning traditional conventions, Peterson illuminated commodification of alternate realities found within that same contemporary culture: mass consumerism, systemic classism and societal decadence. He portrays anonymous ordinary people caught up in contemporary conflicts, neither glorifying nor heroising them. They are simply deserving of having their likeness recorded as any famous person, and more importantly, of having their humanity recognized. A radical painter, Peterson's compelling virtuosity addresses the timeless human condition with precision and dignity.

Denis Peterson's socially conscious paintings are the products of an extraordinary labor of compassion."

Published book references: Art the Whole Story, Thames & Hudson / 20th Century American Culture, Edinburgh University Press / From Cave Painting to Street Art, Rizzoli Publishing

MEDIA QUOTES

ART CRITICS/SHOW REVIEWS

Peterson with large airbrushed painting

ARTIST

STATEMENT


My photorealism paintings in the late 1960s and early 1970s were a new genre that rapidly became a mainstream school of art following Abstract Expressionism and POP Art. Their photographic appearance was not achieved by meticulously duplicating details in a photo. In fact, the illusion was primarily created through subtle tonal changes and inter-relationships of shapes as abstract elements of composition. Without those elements, my work would have lost its visceral energy.

Airbrushing acrylic paints provided the luxury of blending colors optically, that is, directly on the canvas through glazes. Combined opaque and transparent applications achieved considerably wider tonal articulation in compositional lighting and shading. By not having to plan ahead with pre-mixed colors on a palette, impromtu decisions could be made during the process of simulated image creation; leaving me much greater latitude for spontaneous and immediate adjustments.

My newer work evolved into a more advanced photographic genre which I aptly termed hyperrealism - an extension of photorealism, but sans its more conventional aesthetics. It was still photorealism; however, hyperrealism now altered one's visual perceptions through illusions of reality as opposed to representations of reality.

In my genocide series, for example, phantasmagorical images provoked and challenged our sensibilities of verisimilitude, perception and illusion: confronting the ordered and the disordered, the connected and the unconnected.

As a counter culture school of painting, it is no longer enough to secure the painting as a realist object i.e., mundane objectified themes, banal subjects, or staged settings. Each series of my works is a visual excursion incorporating a single existential frame of reference as an alternate reality, or hyper-reality: the human condition.


"One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. The everyday nature of the subject matter of the paintings likewise worked to secure the painting as a realist object.

The photorealist genre, however, is clearly more than just an attempt to replicate the mechanical action of taking a photograph. It also intervened in a debate that is as old as photography itself: to what extent is a photograph simply a reflection of reality, or to what extent does it mediate the reality it is representing?

The emphasis in photography falls upon the assembling and constructing, rather than the mechanical taking, of a photograph."



From the book American Culture in the 20th Century by Graham Thompson, Edinburgh University Press (U.K.)

GALLERIES

SALES/COMMISSIONS

ARIELLE MARK

NYC · E Hampton

ariellemark@gmail.com

201 978 9196


GUIDO PERSTERER

Zürich, Switzerland

info@perstererfineart.com

+41 44 212 52 92


MARCEL STROUK

Paris, France

info@galerie-strouk.fr

+33 (0)1 56 24 42 19


THOMAS PAUL

Hollywood, California

info@tpaulfineart.com

323 525 0444