Inspired by a family backgammon tradition—“My grandmother could roll any number that she wanted to,” he says—Ara Peterson began to collaborate with his father, Jack, on graphically abstracted playing boards, each a work of art in itself.
“There is definitely a visual language that my dad and I share based in geometry and organization,” the younger Peterson says. “I think that the earliest example of abstract art I ever experienced was a large hooked shag rug that [my dad] made. It was hanging way up high on a wall in the house we lived in. It had big zig-zagged and pointed geometric regions; bold shapes and color.”Marked with by a kaleidoscopic color palette and vivid, optical geometry, these time-honored boards are potentially spellbinding—play a game, if you dare.
Check out Peterson’s Backgammon Board and more art-inspired games in “Game On!”, a collaboration between Artsy and Grey Area.