More Than Pretty Pictures
Shabby street corners, deserted rail yards, neighborhood liquor stores: When it comes to subject matter, these are a few of Tony Peters’ favorite things. “The urban landscape is my natural environment. I wish to paint the world as I know and see it,” Peters says. Indeed, while many of his Southern California contemporaries rush to capture crashing waves, sun-drenched beaches, and windswept eucalyptus trees, this Golden State painter finds his artistic calling in the big city. It’s the rougher edges of the Los Angeles-to-San Diego corridor that inspire him with a sense of awe and wonder.
Peters first appeared in the pages of Southwest Art in 2001 in the annual feature story “21 Under 31,” which spotlights emerging artists. During the past decade, his interest in psychology—specifically the work of Jung and Freud—has grown and added new layers of meaning to his slices of urban life. Ten years ago, a freeway might have interested Peters simply as an iconic structure on the Southern California landscape. These days, the streets, byways, and freeways that recur in his works have taken on an array of symbolic meanings.