ABOUT THE ARTIST
My creative talents were recognized at an early age and I was afforded several wonderful opportunities to advance, including classes at the Corcoran School of Arts in Washington, DC. My focus on sports held my attention until I was inspired to return to visual arts when I attended Western/Duke Ellington School of the Arts, also in Washington, DC. Still, I considered myself primarily to be a self-taught artist until 1987 when my drive and vision to improve as a painter brought about a unique opportunity to apprentice with master surrealist Abdul Mati Klarwein in Deia, Majorca, Spain.
The apprenticeship spanned several years and was transformative. During that time, I was afforded individual guidance and supportive criticism from one of the world’s greatest visionary artists. The master artist schooled me in the techniques prevalent in the Flemish School of Painting, a movement from 14th-17th century Flanders which produced such renowned artists as Jan Van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals and Antony van Dyck, and Matis' instructor Ernst Fuchs, widely considered one of the top visionary artists of his time.
As a painter my work is influenced by that intimate time of study, but also by several periods in art, especially the Minimalist and Dada periods. The minimalist movement
brought about clean lines, seen more in architecture and home furnishings. The “Dada” period birthed surrealism and historically is considered to be the most influential movement in modern art and birthed surrealism.
Added to my study of photorealism, my paintings aim to bridge cultural and social norms with universal truths. One goal is to have clean lines that open the surreal components of my paintings as pathways to discovery, challenging the viewer as they reveal deeper mysteries that must be studied over time.
I draw from my African-American heritage, almost 40 year study of the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, my interest in spirituality, religion, philosophy, dance, movement, and global and universal symbolism and themes.
Where the early surrealist moment had the goal of shocking the audience to see differently, I align with that school of thought in that we are all influenced by seen and un-seen reality. My work aims to be a pleasing reminder of the forces greater than the self, and in this way each painting or series, regardless of the medium or proximity to realism or surrealism, has a main subject that opens the door to consider literal, figurative, spiritual and imaginative influences in life. In that sense, a good painting should not have a conclusion. It must be a signed representation of a period that continues to inspire, solicits inquiry and encourages imagination.
Contact Pete Jackson