Kevin Peterson’s subjects exist somewhere between a wintery city and sunny Houston, where the artist is currently based. Do a web search on his art, and the response is polarizing. Hyperrealism has become a controversial art form- most admire the excruciating detail, while others disagree with copying tags or photographs. Without question, Petersons’ portraits of children in a graffiti-colored world are emotional and ironic. His current show at Thinkspace gallery, “Remnants”, portrays his own fantasy-urban jungle. Here, his young subjects are newly accompanied by animals such as polar bears, hyenas, foxes and antelope.
Their wild youthfulness combined with decaying buildings creates a powerful visual tension. While this air of destruction might appear dismal, these children are not in distress. Rather, his imagery offers the hope of survival as they skip along in jubilation. In the next room, Adam Caldwell offers a painterly approach to the figure with his solo, “Persona”. Where the deconstruction in Peterson’s art is more literal, Caldwell creates it with gestural brushstrokes. Both achieve a certain grittiness that celebrates the imperfections of real life.
“Remnants” by Kevin Peterson and “Persona” by Adam Caldwell is on view at Thinkspace Gallery through January 3rd.