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Art & Life with Peter Roux

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Roux.

Peter, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up as a military kid, moving frequently until my teenage years when we more permanently landed in the
Boston area. As a child, drawing was my constant- I’d create personal worlds for myself on paper in response to the ever-changing exterior worlds in which I lived. Visual art quickly became the language I felt most comfortable with, and most compelled to use. It calmed me, and the world made more sense through it.

From my earliest memories I knew I wanted to be an artist of some kind…I never questioned it, and rarely saw myself growing into anything else. I attended art school, focused on painting, and let the work take me where it thought I should go. Upon finishing school, I was featured twice in a prominent painting competition and publication that exposed my work to the larger art world. This resulted in my first gallery shows and sales, and I’ve been working and showing ever since. I’m able to work full-time as an artist (although I took some time to explore teaching part-time as an adjunct professor for a couple of years as well), and consider myself truly lucky in that regard.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m primarily a painter, although I do work in monotype and love to create drawings as well. My work is rooted in landscape, but my primary interest is in how we see and experience space even above identifying specific spaces in the work. I like to utilize familiar subjects- clouds, open land- to root the viewer in the familiar, and create relationships in language and marks to ask questions about seeing.

I began as an abstract painter, but quickly realized that in the non-objective work I was creating, a stubborn landscape reference continued to appear…I just couldn’t get away from it. This caused me to evaluate what was driving me, and the obvious emergence of identifiable spaces was the result. I let it direct me, and that road
placed me squarely into the exploration of landscape and universally shared spaces of various kinds.

The language of visual imagery is exciting to me, and in art I see little distinction between illusory representational space and abstraction- to me, they are spaces in which we place ourselves and explore, and images always speak to how they were created. In contemporary culture we face a daily onslaught of reproduced space- photos, film, video in any number of formats- and each one is not the thing itself but rather an edited version of the thing, crafted with purpose. This inevitably informs how we identify and experience space, as the vocabularies of any given process are infused into the images we see. Our familiarity with film, for example, has irreversibly shaped the ways we experience the world around us. I love exploring this shaping, and get excited with the prospect of pushing seemingly disparate formal worlds against each other to see what happens (realistic space interacting with abstraction, as an example). It’s quite simply the desire to make relationships that didn’t exist before in order to cause new thought through new experience.

I also love beauty, and creating beautiful things that previously didn’t exist. It feels to me that, in our day and age, authentic beauty is hard to find…that genuine experience that moves you internally. I love to pursue that.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I don’t think there’s enough room or time for me to adequately describe how important the role artists can play in our current world. It’s crisis time on so many fronts, crises of our own making, and one of the only solutions for guiding us to a safer, saner place is through some serious self-reflection and hard critique.

Art (in any form), if allowed to do so, plays that role: it is unique in its ability to cause us to see ourselves through it. The art we create reflects us- good, bad, mixed. Through it we can look inside and, potentially, change. And we really need to change right now.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I show in the Atlanta area at Alan Avery Art Company (www.alanaveryartcompany.com) located on Miami Circle NE. Anyone interested can view new work arriving there soon by visiting the gallery in person (the best way) or online on their website. I also have a personal website where new work is regularly featured (www.peterrouxartist.com) and am very active on Instagram (@peterrouxart).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos courtesy Alan Avery Art Company and Peter Roux.

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