Peter Krashes

Adjunct Instructor

Peter Krashes' studio painting over the past decade stands as one complete body of artistic research growing directly out of his other practice as an unpaid community organizer in the Dean Street area of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.

Linking the practices of painting and of activism points out the problematic of actions that can be consumed, ignored, and considered irrelevant by those in official political power. Their human scale and material presence as paint on canvas positions these paintings outside the processes in which decisions are made instead of seeking recognition in political discourses of power.

Taking a different approach to generating cultural power, Krashes has generated this body of paintings through working out questions that arise in his range of collaborative activist practices. For example, frustration with the narrow, sometimes apparently biased focus of the media has led Krashes to make paintings depicting the glare of cameras pointed in elected officials' faces or expansive interiors of government chambers with recurring images of empty microphones. He also paints the flipside of this equation, namely that individual voices speaking collectively can exercise power. Neighbors painting protest signs, children's face painting, Easter egg hunts, seedbombs tossed into empty lots, and block parties claim space—marking the presence of the communities willfully neglected by those in power.

Peter Krashes earned a B.F.A. from University of Oxford (1987) on Marshall Scholarship, and a B.A from Middlebury College(1985).

NYPD and Fence, Gouache on paper, 30 X 40 inches, 2019
NYPD and Fence, Gouache on paper, 30 X 40 inches, 2019

 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

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