Kevin Peterson continues to paint in-depth illustrations of young children and animals juxtaposed against dystopian urban environments. Kids, accompanied solely by polar bears, lions, and raccoons, are at the center of each painting surrounded by deserted, decaying buildings. Whereas his earlier paintings revealed the children are striding forward and researching, more lately his young subjects have been paused, seeming to be in moments of reflection or defiance.
Peterson studied fine art alongside psychology in school, and his diverse career included a graduate level in social work and a job as a corrections officer before he returned to his art practice in 2005. The artist’s interest in psychology and social dynamics helps inform the intention behind his works, which Peterson describes as dealing” with isolation, loneliness, and longing teamed with a level of optimistic hope. Problems of race and the division of wealth have arisen in my recent work. This work deals with the idea of rigid boundaries, the optimistic breakdown of these constraints, as well as questions regarding the forces that orchestrate our behavior.”
He shares his works in progress and completed paintings on Instagram.