Cleon Peterson’s works depict militaristic figures and savagery. From paintings of powerful men deployed in hard-edged graphics with a confined palette, to the sculpted warhorse often associated with brutal uniformed aggressors, each evokes historically fascistic imagery. Peterson’s latest series embodies the artist’s longtime preoccupation with violence, rendered in simple, stylized figures in black, white and red, with permanent war as an overarching theme. As Peterson continually expresses violence as an element of his own shadow side, he also sheds light on the ever-present violent impulses in our society at a time when this subject is increasingly uncomfortable and ever more urgent. Peterson was born in Seattle in 1973 and now lives in Los Angeles.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Martha Cooper.