Peter Erik Lopez is a painter and recent graduate of Transart Institute for Creative Research. His medium of choice is oil on canvas. He started with portraiture but realized his primary interest in painting people was hearing their stories as he worked: it was narrative and personal histories that attracted him. This initiated a series of portraits of queer men of color using the format of Greek pottery (color, borders, and text telling their stories) done with acrylic on wood. He also began an exploration of personal history by questioning the veracity of the family-album-as-archive and produced work where he painted images from his family album on scraps of loose canvas but reconstituted them through symbols and disruptions to reveal the trauma, inherited trauma, and abuse elided from the archive. This led into working with his mother’s family album also on loose scraps of canvas.
Peter is half-German and half-Mexican and there are many complexities to explore in having this mixed-race identity. Through her family photo albums he explored his mother’s German heritage as the daughter of a Nazi soldier and an eventual apologist for her father in another set of paintings. Future work involves an exploration of his father’s history as a dark-skinned Mexican (estranged from his light-skinned family). He is currently interested in investigating the history and current status of Afro-Mexicans in Mexico through further disruptions of family archives, costume, and performance. Peter has recently been accepted into The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program for 2020/21.
Peter Erik Lopez’s residency is made possible through AAI’s ongoing partnership with Residency Unlimited.