Enjoy the opening night of Robyn Sean Peterson’s ‘The Inward Gaze’ on August 3. The exhibition runs through September 16.
Enjoy the opening night of Robyn Sean Peterson's 'The Inward Gaze' on August 3. The exhibition runs through September 16.
Mystery and synchronicity have been the hallmarks of Robyn Sean Peterson’s artistic journey. It began on a particularly fortuitous afternoon while waiting for the light to change at a street corner in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Glancing down, he noticed a scrap of a magazine page with a human eye on it. An intuitive voice told him to put it in his pocket and take it home.
Over the last two decades, Peterson has collected thousands of pieces of source material such as magazine and catalog clippings, fabric and gift-wrap samples, and found objects, which have been transformed into intricate collage images that explore states of spiritual and psychological awareness. “My artwork is a form of mystical realism,” Peterson explains; “and emanates from the Collective Unconscious as an expression of revelation rather than outer observation.”
Working intuitively, Peterson painstakingly cuts up paper images into smaller fragments with an X-ACTO knife. These pieces are photocopied onto heavier paper, cut out again, and then laid out on his work table in various configurations until the pieces begin to form an image. This image is then modified and refined repeatedly until all of the parts are in their proper place, the whole image reveals itself, and the pieces can finally be glued onto a canvas or a wooden panel. No work is done with a computer, “and by using only my hands combined with intuitive guidance, I can remain connected to the sources of the images themselves.”
When a piece reaches completion, all of the seemingly unrelated elements of source material have been fully integrated into a powerful and dynamic image that is both pan-cultural and timeless. There is a type of poetic openness that allows the viewer to interpret what they see on their own terms. In that sense, the images function not only as a portal or window into another world, but also as a mirror.
Born in the Pacific Northwest, Robyn Sean Peterson has lived in Colorado for the past 10 years, most recently settling in the artist town of Manitou Springs. He holds a B.A. in Comparative Religion from Antioch University in Seattle, and a M.A. in Psychology from the California Institute for Integral Studies. He also studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In 2018, Peterson received the first artist-in-residence award from the Smokebrush Living Arts Foundation in Manitou Springs. Most recently, his work has been featured at The Commons Gallery and Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs. “The Inward Gaze: Magic & Mystery of the Archetype” opens at the MAC in Manitou Springs on Friday, August 3rd.
image © Robyn Sean Peterson