Cleon Peterson’s Unflinching Paintings Act Out Our Culture’s “Poison”
"The mural and print are derived from the Early Renaissance tale of Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili). The story tells the tale of one man’s bizarre and perilous voyage into a mystical world to declare his adoration for his beloved. He abruptly awakes from this dream within a dream, to the harsh reality of unrequited love.
Humanity and mankind thrive on the search for love and unity, entangled in this quest is both light and darkness."
Signature: Signed and numbered by the artist
With an aesthetic rooted in graphic design and a style reminiscent of Greco-Roman vases, Cleon Peterson’s art depicts a world in which deviance is the norm and violence, sex, and drugs bring a hollow pleasure. A former drug addict who initially struggled to recover, Peterson does not rely on symbolism or allusion, as many other artists do; instead he depicts a chaotic and chilling reality—police brutality, stabbings, and strangulation. Influenced by Leon Golub, Paul McCarthy, and Mike Kelley, Peterson portrays a world in which hostility and violence are rendered senseless and without context.
American, b. 1973, Seattle, Washington, based in Los Angeles, California