IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation- Peter Zokosky

IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation
Darlene Campbell, Kenny Harris, F. Scott Hess, Ira Korman, Judy Nimtz, Sarah Perry, Robert Schultz & Peter Zokosky

July 7 – August 27, 2016
Opening Reception: July 7, 2016: 6 – 8 pm

Method: Degrees of Separation, the second of three IDENTITY exhibitions, highlights the art process with a special appreciation of historical methods within a voice of haptic ways of seeing. The featured artists come from various points of view—conceptually, pictorially, and aesthetically—yet collectively they share a deep dedication to creating artwork by way of a traditional method. In curator Eleana Del Rio’s words “Tradition by way of ‘method’ – stated loosely – is the exhibition’s topic.”

Artist interview #43: Peter Zokosky


1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
I’ve got my studio in my house, upstairs. I go there everyday, even if I don’t get to paint. I want to see what I’ve done, it’s frequently a surprise to see how it measures up the next morning. I don’t listen to music when I work.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
I get in there whenever I have a chance. It’s a magnificent place to be, I start everyday in there.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I work in oils and I always have several in progress. It’s not unusual to work on just one in a day, but there are lots of them waiting in the wings. They get put aside when I don’t know how to finish them, some get put aside for years.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
I teach and run an MFA program. It’s great to have art on the mind so much. It’s rewarding to work with talented serious artists and try to help them on their journey.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
If I understand the question, the goal is always to end up with a painting that feels complete, I don’t mean finished, when it’s complete it has the elements of real life in it. Lots of those elements are contradictory. Elements like sensuality, uncertainty, order and chaos, frivolity and severity, sublime and absurd. I don’t refer to a check list, but I do feel that the experience of life is complex and that complexity ought to show up in the work. Otherwise it feels incomplete.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Method- Degrees of Separation, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I would hope that a new viewer would allow for uncertainty as a valid reaction to the work. I do not try to make tidy paintings, that can be summed up readily. I want the paintings to reveal themselves slowly, over the course of years. I intend for them to remain engaging. I would not want a new viewer to think I had failed because the paintings are open-ended. For me it’s a sign of respect toward the viewer to offer up something complex.

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