CLICK ON PICTURE
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
ARTIST STATEMENT BIOGRAPHY PRESS PUBLIC WORK
COMMISSIONS LINKS E-mail
ARTFORUM: CACTUS FLOWERS - REMNANTS OF THE KILLING FIELDS
NEW YORK, NY -- Works of hyperrealist painter Denis Peterson are recognized worldwide as provocative and iconoclastic. When he committed to doing the Cambodian installation (left) he carefully researched the atrocities committed at S-21, a high school converted into a torture chamber and death camp by a former high school teacher.
Through research at Yale University's Cambodian Genocide Project, Denis collected whatever information was available in order to create an authentic representation, stating "These paintings were more than just art. They were commemorations of the lives and deaths of 14,000 young peolple captured in Cambodia under the rule of a terrorist organization, the then Khmer Rouge. I used original documents and photographs taken upon their capture. These portraits were painted under great stress to show them as people, not objects."
In fact, Cambodia provided Mr. Peterson with actual photos for the installation paintings, The photos were taken at the time of capture by the Khmer Rouge. The photographer of the only known photo (taken before his arrest) of the executioner allowed him to use it as a reference photo for the project.
The installation attracted the attention by a number of colleges, universities,and public museums;
some have offered solo exhibitions and speaker forums to Mr. Peterson. FOX TV produced a special report relating to his genocide paintings, a first in the history of television.
Mr. Peterson participated in various 911 cooperative art projects to commemorate the deaths of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Private foundations, museums, universities and philanthropic organizations are strongly encouraged to inquire regarding public art installations.