Work on Monday: “Paradise Lost” by Peter Buchman

This week, Work on Monday returns with a piece by East Hampton and New York City mixed-media artist Peter Buchman.

Work on Monday is a weekly look at one piece of art related to the East End, usually by a Hamptons or North Fork artist, living or dead, created in any kind of media. Join the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comments below and email suggestions for a future Work on Monday here.

Paradise Lost
Peter Buchman (b. 1959, Jacksonville, FL)
Acrylic on wood–assembled
38 x 52 inches, 2013

“Paradise Lost” is a quintessential example of Peter Buchman’s quirky, often sexy and always nostalgic works, made in a variety of media.  The artist takes his viewer back to a simpler time in America and presents it with boyish wonder, possibly through the eyes of his younger self, stealing glances of bathing beauties from afar.

Buchman combines 14 wooden tiles, each featuring images of beautiful women, hotel pools, beaches and other vestiges of the American vacation. Even without the title—which is written on the piece—it’s clear these are moments from a bygone era. Childhood innocence and a purer time are at once celebrated and mourned.

The tiles are painted from photo references Buchman has collected in a quest to present his American ideal, but he allows the images to breathe by leaving palette marks and paint blotches along the edges. This painterly choice—showing where he mixed and tested his colors, or at least making it appear that way, adds more life to the work and gives the viewer further evidence of the artist’s hand.

Each separate image in “Paradise Lost” carries its own intimate narrative, but together they weave a tapestry with endless layers of context and subtext. This playful milieu reveals great depth and flexibility in a piece that can be understood differently by each individual viewer.

To see more of Peter Buchman’s work, visit peterbuchman.com. Check out Buchman’s blog peterbuchmanartwork.tumblr.com to see his fantastic collection of drawings on hotel stationary, read his musings and enjoy other entertaining posts.

Buchman’s work is available locally at Vered Gallery in East Hampton. Call 631-324-3303 or visit veredart.com.

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