Peter Owen


I make drawings and paintings that are based on my daily experience in urban spaces – my walk to work, the skyline seen from my apartment, the errands run throughout the week. I keep a camera on me all the time, and throughout the day, I document where I am. Each photograph is quite ordinary, but holds significance for the part it plays in the mapping of my life. Details that might be overlooked, such as the curve of a lampost or the molding on a windowsill, are captured so that later on they can be incorporated into minutely detailed compositions. In a way, drawing is like retracing my steps. However, rather than trying to piece together a coherent, objective narrative, I work with layers of imagery. Buildings are overlaid atop one another and allowed to tangle together. Over time the layers obliterate parts of what is underneath, and the composition is woven out of hundreds of these daily recordings. I overload certain sections, and then counterbalance those areas with finely articulated, delicate structures – fire escapes, streetlights, the exposed pipes running through alleys. I am attempting to describe the experience of living in places that are constantly being transformed by construction and demolition.