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Q&A With Artist Oscar Peterson


You named the exhibition after the painting “Bound” how does that title reflect the pieces in this show?

Yes, the name of the exhibition is Oscar Peterson: Unbound. We are all "Bound" by one thing or another. Our vision, our limitations, other people's expectations. Being "Unbound" means having the freedom to do what you want to do, with limitless goals, and without outside expectations. These are all paintings that I had to create, that I had to give birth to. They do not have a connected theme other than being released, untied, unbound.


What does this exhibition tell the viewer about Oscar Peterson the artist?

This is my most personal exhibition to-date. I've placed a lot of information (bread crumbs) in these pieces, that many people will not get. Some have a narrative that asks questions of the viewer. I hope the exhibition tells people I'm versatile, thoughtful, and a little playful.


Who has influenced your work and in what ways?

I've been guided by many, starting with Velasquez, and continuing through to the modern-day masters. Most who know me, know I was greatly influenced by my mentor Nelson Shanks, although my work looks nothing like his (sadly). One of the things he taught me was to seek (my own) truth, and put that into each painting. Two of my mentors/teachers/friends, Ephraim Rubenstein and Costa Vavagiakis, continually teach me to paint with a purpose and to analyze every brush stroke. 


What medium do you enjoy working in the most and why?

I'm medium-ambidextrous, meaning I feel very comfortable with wet (oil, acrylic, water color), or dry (graphite, charcoal, pastel) mediums. However, I mostly paint in oils, as they are the most forgiving, and are the classic, traditional, gold-standard.


If you had to describe Oscar Peterson in three words, what would they be?

Fun. Twisted. Gifted.

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