EXHIBITION
CONCEPT
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BIOGRAPHY
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VIEW WORKS
/
INFORMATION
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INSTALLATION IMAGES
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INTERVIEW

INTO THE SUN

CLEON PETERSON

MAY 27, 2016 – AUG 12, 2016

CONCEPT

DIESEL ART GALLERY is pleased to present L.A. based painter Cleon Peterson’s first solo show in Japan
“Into the Sun” from May 27th through August 12th, 2016.

Cleon Peterson’s anxiety-riddled world, violence is the status quo. His dystopian scenes evoke Thomas Hobbes’ description of life as war between individuals: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Deviance is simply the norm, and the displaced individual is forced to navigate this wicked world alone, finding hollow bits of pleasure and meaning in violence, sex, religion and drugs.

Peterson describes his bedlam as “a gray world where law breakers and law enforcers are one in the same; a world where ethics have been abandoned in favor of personal entitlement.”

In this exhibition, 10+ new paintings including a huge painting are going to be on display.

Into the Sun explores our new reality, a world where humanity is divided by war and chaos. A world where human values have broken down and been replaced by the ideology of war and revenge. Cultures and religions clash, each one fighting to impose its vision and ideals on the other. The utopian ideals of compassion and understanding have been replaced by the idea of the outsider or other. Human life has become valueless taken over by the machine of war. At the heart of all of this is an impulse to make the world pure.






BIOGRAPHY

  • Cleon Peterson

    www.cleonpeterson.com

    Cleon Peterson is an LA based artist whose chaotic and violent paintings show clashing figures symbolizing a struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society.  Cleon’s paintings are monochromatic while channeling at the same time the fashion sensibility of the early 80′s, complete with skinny ties and day glow colors.
    Cleon received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, MI and a BFA in Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has collaborated with Shepard Fairey, who is known for his iconic sticker campaign on a mural covering four walls of a building in the Wynwood district of Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach. The mural reads “Power” and “Glory” and combines Fairey’s floral patters with Peterson’s signature figures.
    Past exhibitions include: “Trailblazers”, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, Australia, “Park Life”, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, Art Basel 2007 and “Mail Order Monsters” at Deitch Projects New York, NY, “Those Damn Yanks”, ‘The Occupation’ at New Image Art Gallery, L.A., The Leonard Street Gallery, London, UK, Monster Gallery, Sydney. He has been featured in LA Record Magazine, Juxtapoz, EYESCREAM (Japan), Arkitip Issue No. 0005, and September I.D. Magazine, and has been collected by international collectors, musicians and world art leaders such as Jeffrey Deitch.

    Solo Exhibition

    2016
    • ・ The Judgement, Plus One, Antwerp, Belgium (February)
    • ・ Purity, Over the Influence, Hong Kong (January)
    2015
    • ・ Disappear Into Midnight, Agnés B, Galerie Du Jour (October)
    • ・ Purity, Library Street Collective, Detroit Michigan (August)
    2014
    • ・ End of Days, New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA (November)
    2013
    • ・ There Is a War, The Outsiders, Soho, London (July)
    2012
    • ・ Brinksman, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA(March)
    2011
    • ・ White Flag, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY (June)
    2010
    • ・ Daybreak, New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA (November)
    2009
    • ・ The Unconsoled, Alice Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (September)
    • ・ The Mirror Stage, Monster Children Gallery, Sydney, Australia (August)
    • ・ The Occupation, New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA (January)
    2008
    • ・ Cleon Peterson and Kill Pixie, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA

VIEW WORKS

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Cleon Peterson

©Jon Furlong

Title
Into the Sun
Artist
Cleon Peterson
Date
May 27, 2016 – Aug 12, 2016
Venue
DIESEL ART GALLERY
WEB
www.diesel.co.jp/art
Address
cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel
03-6427-5955
Hours
11:30 - 21:00
Holidays
Non-Regular Holiday
Curation
+81
Sponsor
D.D.WAVE Co.,Ltd.
TRNK
Supported by
Over The Influence
Curation
+81
+81 is a global visual magazine launched out of Tokyo in 1997. +81 magazine features all the creative scene from graphic design, to fashion, photography, film, and music around the world on a different theme for each issue. Besides functioning as a publisher, +81 offers comprehensive production agency services to clients, planning and producing projects in cooperation with creators.

Asia Representative
Over The Influence
Over The Influence is a Hong Kong based Artist management team and curatorial platform dedicated to the organization of extensive exhibitions. Featuring works by international radical, vibrant and influential artists, Over The Influence collaborates with private and public institutions around the world. Over The Influence’s goal is to help contribute the emergence of a new generation of impactful contemporary Artists.

Event Info
There will also be an artist signing from 19:00-20:30 on Fri 27th MAY.

INSTALLATION IMAGES

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

INTERVIEW

Cleon Peterson
Special Interview

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

--Please tell us about yourself.
I’m Cleon Peterson,and I’m an artist from Los Angeles, California. I’m a painter and sculptor.

--What is the concept and the highlight of the exhibition?
The concept of the show is chaos,power, struggles and the social unrest that I continually working on.

--What is the meaning of the exhibition’s title, “Into the Sun”?
I titled it “Into the Sun”because this is the first encounter coming to Japan. And I see that the ‘sun’ as a symbol on the flag, and there’s the history of the flag.

--Please tell us about the latest giant artwork, “Burning the dead”.
I love painting big and making things that envelope viewer, because I like the idea of doing large paintings that confront people.

--What was the start for you to become an artist?
I have made art as a natural inclination. I started making art when I was really young. I spent a lot of time in hospital for asthma, so it was something for me to do.As the years progressed, I was so excited about art that I just continued doing it all the time. I would focus all my attention on it. So I went to college to study art and wound up making money doing design and illustrations for all kinds of companies, such as skateboard companies and these kinds of things.Then at a certain point, I decided to go back to school again and study design. After I studied design again I had made a few paintings in my own time. Once I had a project designing a book for an art gallery, the owner came over to my studio and saw my paintings. The owner said, “I think it’s great painting,I think I could sell those in the gallery.” So, I put the paintings in a group show and I sold the paintings. This encouraged me to make more paintings.

--When do you most likely come up with the idea of your artwork? What is your inspiration?
One of the main inspiration that I have is anger. If I can be angry at something, it means I feel passionate about it. There are some horrific things going on in the world which make me angry and I feel urge to the society. I always try to make things represent how the world is and how I see the world today.

--Please tell us about the process to get artworks completed. What is most important to you in the process?
I always keep attention what is going on in the world through media to get ideas. I need a lot of brain storming to put the ideas on the canvas.

--How did you develop the main idea of violence and fighting depiction? Also, how did you develop the composition with limited colors?
I was surrounded by chaotic environment and got myself into dangerous situation when I was around the age of 20. At that period, I saw violence all the time,police, drugs, fighting and all that stuff. Those experiences made me want to make art about it, because it is not the world everybody sees. In terms of the colors, I used to paint with every color, and as I have developed more and more I have simplified and broken it down to just the simplest form and color that I can make the emotional feel for me. The black and the white are just very graphic opposite colors that just work really well for me.

--Is there any particular message you intend to tell us through your artworks?
People can feel free to think about my work. I do not want to give specific understanding. I think it’s just a reflection of aspects in our world. It acts as more of a mirror and people can have their own reactions. The images that I make are the same images that are around us every day, so I would leave it to their imagination and give opportunities to think what is happening in the world today.

--Do you have any book, music or movie that influenced you?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Kurt Vonnegut.

--Do you have any artists that you respect?
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leon Golub and Jacob Lawrence.

--How do you spend your day-off?
I spend most of time with my family or watch movies, reading books.

--How was your first visit to Japan? How did you feel? Is there anything that inspired you?
It was amazing experience for me. I visited Kyoto and seen a lot of beautiful places, whereas Tokyo, I could feel full of energy and vitality. I enjoyed both of cities.

--What have you been working on recently? What are your next projects and future plans?
In terms of the project that I am working on, I have just done wall painting in Edmonton Canada on the side of the restaurant and I will have a show in N.Y in a month. I have made sculptures and I would like to make more of them in the future.

--Please give us a message to viewers who are planning to come to the exhibition.
I encourage people to look and think about the work, and create their own opinions. I don’t really want to dictate what people think about the art. I want to let them have the opportunity to take in and understand it in their own way. So I appreciate when people read the art differently and tell me what they think about and what they see in the work because it gives you a different perspective on what you’re doing.