Between Flesh And Brick

May 30 - July, 2019

Peter Pacheco

First of all, let me make one thing clear: I do not have a foot fetish and I am not looking for a rich podiatrist as a client. I started painting feet as a way of reintroducing the figure into my paintings, which up until then had been almost exclusively abstract. I do not want to paint a figure study; but I also do not want to tell a story as much as paint a mood or the experience of being in the world.

I have always been drawn to American abstract expressionism, for me closely connected with jazz from the same time period, which I love. In some way, this still informs my work.

Exhibit Works

Shaken this has left me
And laughing and undone

With a blinding bolt of sleeplessness
That’s just begun
And a windy crazy running
Through the nights and through the days
And a crackling
Of the time burned away

Philip Glass, Lightning

About the Exhibit

Peter Pacheco is, in a certain sense, an outsider artist. He is no outsider to formal training or art history, but his artistic practice and impressive oeuvre, part of which is exhibited here at the QCC Art Gallery, has been honed in private, in the evenings and days off from his job as a nurse in an intensive care facility in a public hospital, intentionally outside the gaze of the gallerists, critics, and collectors of the commercial art world in whose company many artists strive to be included. Peter, working in his studio on the top floor of the two-story post-war bungalow he shares with his partner, Avery, has crafted his unique painterly language and vision without regard for art world status.

This privacy has allowed Peter to develop a profoundly rich and complex body of work, but, as the artist acknowledges, his solitary practice has cut him off from the feedback loop central to art's significance. As he puts it: “art is meant to communicate, to speak to an audience.” We are very fortunate to be able help complete the task of Peter's paintings, to interrupt the solitude that has nurtured a vision which is private, yet speaks to universal human experiences of loneliness, terror, alienation and the sublime joy rendered by human perception, sensuality and connection.

Peter's mother, Bessie, had an enduring influence on his personal and artistic development. An adventurous soul, especially for a woman in the 1950's, Bessie was fascinated with American culture, jazz music in particular. She owned a small selection of albums (records were an expensive and coveted possession at that time, and Peter's mother struggled to make ends meet). Peter and Bessie listened to Earl Garner, Ella Fitzgerald and the soundtrack from Carmen Jones over and over again throughout his childhood. Later, Bessie had a relationship with a drummer from Trinidad, who also turned out to be a kind of father-figure to Peter. He turned Peter on to the jazz greats of the Bebop era like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. The sounds and feeling of that music, with their achingly beautiful riffs, syncopated rhythm and collision of order and frenzy infuse Peter's paintings to this day.

  • Shaken This Has Left Me
  • Oil on canvas
  • 60 x 94.25 in
  • 2009
  • The Snake
  • Oil on canvas
  • 20 x 20 in
  • 2004
  • East and West
  • Oil on canvas
  • 52 x 52 in
  • 2004
  • Lightning Struck
  • Oil on canvas
  • 52 x 52 in
  • 2004
  • Bambi AKA Blood-sport II
  • Oil on canvas
  • 48 x 60 in
  • 2000
  • The Red Balloon
  • Oil on canvas
  • 66 x 54 in
  • 2006