Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peter Cheney at Rockland Center for the Arts

Peter Cheney is a friend of mine.  He's one of the most cheerful guys I know.  I first saw his art two years ago during the 2010 Nyack Art Walk.  The paintings that I saw that day and paintings I just saw at Rockland Center for the Arts (ROCA) in West Nyack, NY are hit or miss... some I love and some I don't.  But whether you like his work or not you can appreciate Peter's sense of humor.  The exhibition at ROCA is titled "The World According to Peter Cheney".  According to the ROCA website...
Self taught artist and Nyack resident Peter Cheney exhibits his art in "The World According to Peter Cheney." His use of broad brush strokes and flat planes of color reflect the simplicity and directness of country road signs, while his animal characters tell anecdotes of his time in Rockland County and in his day-to-day life.
Peter is one of those artists that has integrated into the arts community in a very organic and authentic way.  He is neither an insider nor an outsider.  He doesn't contain a shred of pretension and he seems to be a man of sincerity not seriousness.   I mention his personality because it stands in contrast to the stereotypical crabby and lonely artist.  Peter knows who he is and he has fun with it!

In regards to his art... his best works are those without words, like the horse or mule painting below.  I really love this piece because of its simplicity, directness, sincere effort to articulate anatomy, and the nothing-special subject matter.  I can enter into the painting and imagine my own narrative.  On the other hand, his paintings with text prevent me from "making the piece my own".  In general, text almost always dominates over the visual component of the painting.  The written word has tremendous power over the audience... thats what makes using this tool very risky.  

*Note not all of these images are part of the ROCA exhibition

1 comment:

  1. I had a chance to combine my two loves in life recently and had a two weeks' holiday in wonderful France, to which I had been before, and had loved so much. I took a little Renault rental car and headed off from Paris, to the Palace of Versailles, to Chartres then southward to sunny Provence, via the Auvergne region, with the Songs of the Auvergne playing repeated on the CD player.
    Magnifique, comme toujours. I saw many art galleries and followed the footsteps of artists, like poor Vincent Van Gogh.
    Back home all too soon, I ordered a canvas print from, choosing this painting by Cézanne,, to remember my trip by.