Kevin Peterson is a Houston-based oil painter recognized for scenes in which wild animals and children interact against urban backdrops. One Peterson piece, “Coalition II,” was recently used as the cover for the newest Red Hot Chili Peppers record, “The Getaway.” The artist’s third solo exhibition with Thinkspace Gallery, “Sovereign,” runs through Sept. 10. Peterson last appeared on HiFructose.com here.
A statement from the gallery offers some insight into the narrative of Peterson’s latest work: “Unexpected alliances thrive between wild beasts and young children in counterintuitive city environments. The compelling fantasy evolves from the interrelationships and staged contrasts of these incredible collusions and whimsical conspiracies; the youngest of protagonists find steady companions in wild foxes and bears, apprehensively navigating the solitude of the city.”
The artist uses preliminary studies to design each piece, working with models and photographic references to nail down each work’s layout. Though adults seem to be absent from each of the pieces (other than leftover graffiti or vacant cars and buildings), themes explored include universal feelings of loss, solitude, the urge for companionship, and enduring hardship. The artist says he’s also found “issues of race and the division of wealth” in his more recent work, offering more ways in which viewers can ponder the paintings.