What is the best thing that I love about my work?
I have two bodies of work that are connected through the subject of nature – assembled found objects that resemble forms found in nature and work that incorporates more direct depictions of nature relating to the environment. I like it when they end up looking just as I had pictured them in my mind. I love when I can depict something realistically that really captures the thing. I love creating objects, shapes and forms that are beautiful, interesting and fun to look at, and also make you think.
· What is my idea of perfect happiness?
I think that happiness is fleeting. I think the human condition is to mostly in a state of want, and if the want or need gets fulfilled for a little while, then people feel happy for that moment, till the next desire gets fulfilled, or in a state of unhappiness if the desire doesn’t get fulfilled. Personally, I think I would be happy if I found my soul mate, if my artwork was selling like hot cakes, If I got a major commission, or got a show at a high profile museum, but “think” is the operative word. What we think would make us happy sometimes doesn’t. I think that If we can be happy with what we have, be grateful for our life in the present, then that is a way to achieve a general happiness, and moreover acceptance of what is, instead of what we don’t have (easier said than done). Lying on a beach relaxing on vacation would make me happy…for a while.
· What is my greatest fear?
Death, and never achieving or fulfilling my greatest dreams.
· What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Laziness, procrastination, selfishness
· Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
I admire the work of Tomas Saraceno.
· What is my greatest extravagance?
Spending way too much money on cancer treatment for my cat, and traveling
· On what occasion would I lie?
To protect myself, family or friend from grave consequences
· What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Tedious, sometimes boring and lengthy time making it, and that I am not able to make more work more quickly.
· When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
When I was painting and making work solely for myself with no deadlines or pressure.
· If I could, what would I change about myself?
Just chill out and be happy and content with what I have, with what I am doing and be less self-critical. Also, judge people less and be kinder.
· What is my greatest achievement in work?
Probably the large-scale sculpture that I created, titled Global Garden Shovel, in Seattle, WA, commissioned by Sound Transit, which is a giant cast bronze garden shovel, made from cast and sculpted plants, trees and flowers from all of the world that represent the different ethnic groups living in the Rainier Valley of Seattle.
· Where would I most like to live?
Greece maybe? Or just maybe some place warmer than Chicago, where I live now.
· What is my most treasured possession?
My art collection of other artists, and a few pieces of my own work that I have kept, and a few pieces of favorite clothing.
· What is my most marked characteristic?
I am straightforward and direct in my comments and questions
· What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
The Art Institute of Chicago.
· What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?
I really like Piccolo Sogno in the summer. They have a gorgeous outdoor patio and the food is very good. The best Food I have had in the city was at Girl and Goat.
· What books influenced my life and how?
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson made me aware, at a young age, of what humans were doing to the environment, specifically that pesticides were killing birds and endangering humans.
· Who are my favorite writers?
Science fiction writers, Hugh Howey, who wrote the Silo trilogy – Wool, Shift and Dust and Jeff VanderMeer, who wrote the Southern reach trilogy – Annihilation, Acceptance and Authority.
· You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
I love Brazilian Jazz, so maybe music by Antonio Carlos Jobim
· Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Trudy Chacon, The Security Operations pilot whose primary task was to fly the science teams in the movie “Avatar”. She gave her life for a just cause.
· Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Oprah Winfrey, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Malala Yousafzai, The first responders at the world Trade Center on 9/11, The fire fighters in the recent fires in California, all teachers teaching our children, The Thai Cave rescuers, Tammie Jo Shults (pilot of flight 1380). Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Madela, Stephen Hawking, Rosa Parks, Jane Austin.
· Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Roma, by Alfonso Quaron
· What role does art play in my life and work?
Art is my life. I go to art openings on the weekend and during the week I make art and market my art.
· Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, or partner in crime?
I would say all of my artist friends in Chicago. The Hyde Park Art Center has been helpful to me as well as Chicago Sculpture International, and The Cultural Center, where I lectured about my work, and many years ago had a solo show there.
· Whom would I like to work with in 2019?
I would love to work with curators at MCA, Depaul Museum, and Expo Chicago, and Chicago, LA, and New York curator and galleries directors.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?
The aforementioned curators and gallery directors, Theaster Gates, Tomas Saraceno, and Henrique Oliveira.
· What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?
I am making work for a solo show opening in March at South Suburban College, and I have designs for an inflatable sculpture of a Rhinoceros that I want to produce, along with a nest of baby sea turtles emerging from their shells.
· Where can you see my work or me?
One of my sculptures, “Directing Traffic”, is in the sculpture park along McCormick Blvd in The Village of Lincolnwood.
You can see also my work online at:
· What do the words “Passion Never Retires” means to me?
Passion for art, animals and the environment are something that I will have for the rest of my life, even when I grow old. Passion is what keeps me alive, without it I wouldn’t want to be here.
· Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
· How can you contact me?