by Peter Koval
In my artwork, I try to execute a compelling visual that contain qualities of mystery, beauty, and a narrative within a 'contextual abstraction'. I try to do this by focusing on a subject granularly and by repeatedly finding edges and lines, going over what's been created so the past process shows through and becomes embedded in the surface. A mark of history. I appreciate but also dislike perfection, and I rarely erase lines. To me the process and struggle is as important as the result.
I like to work in analog mediums such as oil, watercolor, ink, graphite, and charcoal. Most of my works are done on rag paper, wood board, porcelain, canvas or other substrates. Like a buddhist Sand Mandala some of my work is temporary, whereas I try to photographically capture the pigment and medium in the process of a transformation, and this often times happens when liquids are introduced with a chemical process. The only record of this event is the photograph I have taken - which becomes the end result - and inevitably it also becomes a type of scientific performance art.
It was my intention to capture and preserve the essence and unique qualities of a city that is quickly disappearing by the forces of progress as it generic-trifies. (a term I coined to describe a generic sort of gentrifying) Old architecture often coupled with graffiti, grime, and a European sensibility, has set the stage for many movies and romantic dreams in the best city in the world, and I sense this is all ending. I’ve indicated the date the image was created (on-site), the location, and often the outdoor temperature of the session in an effort to remember the feeling of the experience. Some places still exist, while others are on the verge of disappearing, and many, many others are just memories now - replaced by slick steel and glass structures.
My arts career began at the San Francisco Art Institute where I graduated with a fine arts degree. During this period, my exhibitions in numerous galleries gained me some national recognition.
Following SFAI, I had a role as an Art Director for several high-profile music, fashion and Internet magazines and after redesigning a publication called The Net founded by TED Talks curator Chris Anderson, I established my own award-winning design firm specializing in brand identity and publication design. Shortly after, I was commissioned to art direct the 38th Annual Grammy Awards. It was the first year that the Grammy’s were simulcast on the internet, thanks in part to the late tech-entrepreneur Chris Andrews.
My background is of Ukrainian Jewish heritage and I'm the son of a Holocaust survivor and camp escapee. It's a heritage which directly informs my life on a daily basis. In my personal life I'm a strong believer of mindfulness and of Transcendental Meditation and I'm active in martial arts.
Thank you for reading this.