In Conversation with Peter Anton: A Hearty Passion for Palatable Art
In I Love You, hyperrealist sculptor Peter Anton presents a massive Valentine's Day gift wrapped up in a month-long exhibit at Unix Gallery. In his second solo exhibit with the gallery (at their new Upper East Side location), Anton's delightfully decadent and over-the-top sculptures humorously play into the viewer's penchant for rich foods and carnal desires. A plethora of confection-inspired works ranging from assorted chocolates, donuts, and candies, produced from mixed media materials - such as metal, resin, wood, clay, oil and acrylic paints - tempt and engage the spectator. In my conversation with Peter, we chat about the visually enticing works in the show and his frequent themes of overindulgence and tapping into your insatiable urges.
I Love You will be on view through March 9, 2016 at Unix Gallery located at 1015 Madison Avenue, NYC.
Gallery Gurls: In your new show, I Love You, there seems to be a red seductive aura that possesses the viewer, all while they are lusting over these savory sculptures. Red was also the backdrop for your 2015 exhibit ,The Foodhist Temple, what does the power of red hold for you?
Peter Anton: I think the color red is the most emotion-inducing color in the universe. It’s strong and ancient and affects people in profound ways. I am also fascinated with what happens when you change the shade of a color like red. For instance, in the The Foodhist Temple, the red was darker and downplayed a bit and the effect was more soothing, relaxing and serious which helped to foster more contemplation. The shade of bright and rich red used in my I Love You installation gave the feeling of sexy burlesque. There is a feel of romance and naughty passion. It allows you to feel a sense of letting go and surrendering.
"I think the color red is the most emotion-inducing color in the universe. It’s strong and ancient and affects people in profound ways."
The works in the show seem to produce a synergy between our appetite for food and our appetite for sex, what are you invoking here?
The desire for food and sex is innate and there is a fine line between the two since they both come from the pleasure center of our brains. As with sex, the visual attraction to rich colors and shapes and textures are a festival of stimulation. This invokes our yearning for satisfaction.
Excess and consumerism are consistently present in your work, are there any societal messages you’re communicating?
What I am trying to say is that it’s alright to indulge and experience the pleasures that life has to offer. If we are having feelings and desires it means we are supposed to be having feelings and desires.
"Don’t suppress them. Embrace them. Excess feels good and makes us feel alive."
Revisiting your 2015 show, The Foodhist Temple, the exhibit was literally a sanctuary where people could commune with food and with their soul, what led you to create this atmosphere?
I wanted the attendees of The Foodhist Temple to be in a special place where they could escape and feel serene and safe. In this sanctuary you could relax and contemplate your personal relationship with food and all the memories and feelings different foods invoke. Being honest about our feelings for food is as important as the food itself. We should have a reverence for the things we eat.
You are usually very active during the Hamptons summer art season, can we expect to see you in any shows or exhibits this year?
Yes, I am currently planning and working on new and exciting ideas for this summer. Stay tuned.