WORDS ABOUT PICTURES (against my better judgment because pictures should speak for themselves...
THE CONTEMPORARY MYTH OF SELF.
My art examines the psychological isolation of the individual in an increasingly technological world; our seemingly unlimited and ever-increasing ability to act, react, and interact on a global basis from our contemporary citadels while unable to escape the consequences of our communal actions and fundamental (elemental) ties to our very makeup and environment.
Never before so connected; never so alone.
My art discusses THE CONTEMPORARY MYTH OF SELF. My monolithic icons live where earth meets sky, man meets earth, mind meets matter, religion meets science, and present as shaped by past meets future.
In our heads.
On my canvas.
THE REAL ME
JUVENAL REIS STUDIOS, LONG ISLAND CITY
JUVENAL REIS STUDIOS ON DRUGS
ON THE NEXT PAGE...
The World's A Mess... It's In My Head ! (to view more work click on "Older Posts" to the left)
WORDS ABOUT ME
Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, I attended a catholic grade school where their idea of art was tracing your outspread hand on construction paper, cutting it out, adorning it with eyes, legs, beak… and declaring it a Thanksgiving turkey. My mom was thrilled every year. High school wasn’t much better. I went to the all-male, again catholic, prep school where the teachers were either nuns or frustrated ex-jock graduates of same school come back to ”Prep” to whip, literally and figuratively, our sorry asses into shape. I did read a lot of Shakespeare, learn how to write a five-paragraph argument, and I used to know the difference between a sine and a cosine. After a couple of failed attempts at college interspersed with jobs at restaurants, furniture stores, van lines and a prolonged stay in Winter Park, Colorado as a ski bum/ concrete construction worker I finally found my way to the promised land: California. It was here that one of my brothers (himself a novelist) said to me, “You know, Pete, you have tried so many things, tried to walk the straight and narrow path, maybe you should become an artist.” An artist. It had never occurred to me. And still didn’t. Now I know a lot of artists who from a young age just felt it in their bones that art was their calling, but that certainly was not my story. As with almost everything else, I had to do it my way, the hard way. I re-enrolled in college, this time at the California State University, Hayward, and, after briefly considering studying something useful like business or accounting, I actually chose an Art major. And given my previous classwork, the bulk of my classes could deal with art. It was heaven. I drew, sculpted, threw pots, made paper, and prints on my own paper… and even painted. I looked at slides of other artists’ work and talked about it. This was school? Too cool! In 1985 I won the University Regents’ Affiliates Award scholarship (awarded once each academic schoolyear for excellence in studio work). I was hooked. With a studio emphasis in painting, I rounded out my degree with an Art History major as well. School over, I moved to New York to launch my career and embrace fame and fortune. I was only twenty-seven and ready to take the art world by storm. Unfortunately, reality intruded. Rent. Bills. After a brief stint at Pearl Paint on Canal Street in Manhattan, I caught on with an art chain: Dyansen Corporation/ Dyansen Galleries. I rose through the ranks and at the end of my tenure was their National Manager of Warehousing and Distribution for sixteen galleries. I oversaw framing and shipping facilities in New York and Los Angeles along with smaller locations on Maui and Kona. In addition I was responsible for the quality control of bronze sculpture produced for Dyansen at Joel Meisner and Sons foundry (Farmingdale, NY) as well as Tallix foundry (Beacon, NY) and at Dyansen’s own foundry in Los Angeles. Ultimately, the demands of that facility required my presence in LA and the company moved me there in 1988. Eight years later, in 1994, the bottom fell out for Dyansen. My job with it. Shortly thereafter, I began work for an even larger art chain of over forty galleries: Martin Lawrence Limited Editions. My title was Director of Art Operations. I oversaw inventory control, curating, merchandising the galleries, repairs of graphics, canvases, bronzes… MLLE folded faster than I can list my responsibilities. So, here I was, in LA, nearing forty, mid-life crisis...Uugghhhhh! In a fit of what I can only call all too rare lucidity, I moved back to NYC. I have since married the most wonderful, supportive woman in the world. Life’s good! So what’s the point? The point is I have given my love, time, and energy to a lot of jobs and endeavors. Some more meaningful than others. Two I cherish the most. One is the time I have spent with the two boys I have helped to raise. They have re-taught me un-dying love, perseverance, and the zeal to follow what you love… as only the young can. In that vein follows number two. In not quite these words, my wife told me, “Peter, you idiot, do what you love.“ I love making things. I love painting. And above all else (besides afore-mentioned wife) I LOVE COLOR. IT”S ALL ABOUT THE COLOR! I love painting. I've lived in New York City for over ten years. Before that: Los Angeles, New York (again), the Bay Area, and the mountains of Colorado. The influence of these places, the people who live in them and the events we've shared, is elemental in the color and iconography of my work.