Cleon Peterson

The Unconsoled


In this exhibition, Cleon Peterson continues to express the most integral theme in all of his work – a distopia where the individual is displaced and forced to navigate this brutal world alone, finding hollow bits of pleasure and meaning in violence, sex, religion and drugs. Based in L.A., Cleon Peterson is an artist whose chaotic and violent paintings show clashing figures symbolizing a struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society. Cleon's paintings are monochromatic while channeling at the same time the fashion sensibility of the early 80's, complete with skinny ties and day glow colors. Cleon Peterson discribes his approach as follow: “My paintings are a bit dystopian and I'm adamant about not pushing an agenda or trying to get people to read the work in any way. In a sense, the paintings function as a source of dialogue and have an open read. There is also a real comedy in the work. Everything is at the boiling point and absurd. I think there is a place for cynicism and a nihilism in today’s culture and I think that the idea of Hollywood happy endings and the social pressure to be blindly optimistic are a bit disingenuous and hard to stomach today.” « A psychiatrist once bought one of my paintings, and he said I must be mad at my mother (laughs). Maybe, I don’t know. I’d say that part of what I’m painting are things that I feel like I’ve experienced – when I was at the low points in my life; when I was living on the streets, and a junkie…” Cleon received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, MI and a BFA in Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Past exhibitions include: “Octo Pusses” at New Image Art,LA, "Trailblazers", Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, Australia, "Park Life", Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, Art Basel 2007 and "Mail Order Monsters" at Deitch Projects New York, NY, "Those Damn Yanks", The Leonard Street Gallery, London UK, "The Mirror Stage" at The monster gallery Sydney He has been featured in LA Record Magazine, Juxtapoz, Eyes Cream (Japan) and Arkitip.

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