Sculptor Dan P. Peterson, b. 1957, Key West, FL, earned his BA at Drake University in 1980. He finds inspiration in the organic forms of nature via a collaboration of cognitive action with the inherent nature of his materials. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited in by Peterson’s Tumblers, installed on the front lawn of the gallery. Tumblers are a pair of 5 ft. x 5 ft. x 5 ft. abstract figurative pieces that look like white stone but are actually made with industrial foam which the artist fabricates from material recovered from the manufacturer. Peterson is turning material that would have entered the solid waste stream into art. Tumblers are reminiscent of the simplified human forms in Henry Moore’s work but unlike Moore’s passive figures; the contorted yet graceful shapes in Tumblers suggest bodies in constant motion. The imposing pieces have forms going in multiple directions however they are intrinsically balanced. In fact, these sculptures can rest on the ground on any side and still retain their physical equilibrium and aesthetic appeal.
Many of Peterson’s sculptures are created from natural materials like river stones or pieces of twisted wood that the artist reconfigures into fantastic beings conjured from his personal mythology. Some of his more diminutive pieces, like Rocksann and Stone Stepper are made from stone but are lighthearted in spirit. Others, like Deer Skull, ceramic, and Early Man, white marble, showcase the artist’s consummate classical sculpture skills developed during years spent studying stone sculpture in the studio of Master Sculptor, Sem Ghlardini of Pietrasanta, Italy. Peterson also creates accomplished work in drawing and fine art photography, making use of experience gained in his former career as Creative Director at a Miami advertising agency. His work is represented in prominent private and corporate collections, including sculpture commissions for the Grand Bay Resort, Key Biscayne, FL and The Sagamore Hotel, Miami Beach, FL.
Dan Peterson talks about his inspiration and process for The Tumblers