Cleon Peterson’s Social Strata
If the best art is born of struggle, then Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson‘s work must surely be at the top. Peterson, who battled prolonged drug addiction, has experienced what it means to be at the bottom of the societal ladder. And, it is this viseral and real understanding of the extremes of the strata of life that fuels his unvarnished exploration of the world.
Part Greco-Roman vase and modern graphic design, the Cranbrook graduate has exploded internationally in the last several years, mounting shows around the world. February 18 will finish a show for top French fashion house Agnes B in their gallery in Paris.
Peterson’s art depicts a world in which deviance is the norm and violence, sex, and drugs bring a hollow pleasure. His work, while consistent, manifests in sculpture, fabric, murals, plates, ceramics, installations and traditional 2-D canvases.
Of his Agnes B show, VICTORY, Peterson had this to say, “This show explores the hedonistic triumphs of those who recognize themselves as victorious in the unfolding mirror of history. Their right to pleasure hinges on their projection of pain onto the unvictorious other. This often expresses itself in pleasure derived from the misfortune of the defeated. As the winners display their hubris and take their trophies the losers are left insignificant and marginalized. VICTORY explores one mans victory over another, what that victory looks like and the result that victory has on the losers.”