Oliver Peterson reveres the bucolic nature of his hometown (Sag Harbor), but finds inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. Graffiti, structural decay, the pop zeitgeist, literature, politics, history, and his personal experience drive the artist’s work to challenging places one might not associate with the East End’s beaches and bountiful reputation. Peterson’s paintings are very much about the media from which they are built. The artist frequently experiments with paint and patinas and often applies random studio detritus to compositions that have been described as energetic, complex, dark, and even gentle.
Since late 2005, Peterson has embarked on developing his ongoing series of mixed media work and he recently began exploring modern heroic figures cut from the pages of comic books and other sources. Pieces often contain burlap culled from the large bags used for coffee beans, as well as other fabrics. Carefully cut paper and a variety of scraps and remnants surface from all facets of Peterson’s world.
Other common elements like newspaper and advertising reflect the artist’s travels or ground the work in Sag Harbor and other local towns and villages. All aspects are visible throughout the portfolio, which continues to evolve. A diligent survey of each painting will prompt observers to consistently discover new things. For Oliver Peterson, interaction with the work is paramount.
Oliver was born in New York and received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He has exhibited his work in exhibits throughout New York since 2006.