B. 1973, Seattle, Washington, USA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Cleon Peterson’s chaotic and violent paintings show clashing figures symbolizing a struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society. Peterson’s work acknowledges the demons within us and sheds light on the inherent violence of civilization. His allegorical works contrast good with evil, and violence with victim, in the tradition of Greco-Roman gladiator-motif vases, Francisco Goya’s “The Disasters of War (1810-1820),” and Eugene Delacroix’s “The Rape of Sabine Women (1850).”
Born in Seattle, Washington in Cleon in 1973, Peterson received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, Michigan and BFA in Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Peterson’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in 2018, titled Cleon Peterson: Shadow of Men, focused on this current in Peterson’s work and showcases the artist’s aesthetic mastery, long under-recognized by the museum field. This solo presentation also demonstrates the importance of representing violence to highlight a disturbing though fundamental element of society.
Peterson’s work is in a number of notable private collections worldwide.