Artist of the Week: David Peterson
Views 25 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 3 - 27 - 2019 | By: Max Mutch
David Peterson is a senior studio art major born and raised in Santa Barbara. Avoiding representational artwork such as realism, he focuses on a variety of art forms in the abstract category—his signature work being abstract expressionist painting and formalist sculpture. Peterson elaborates, “I don’t care much creating representational artwork, but rather art that is derived from objective and innate compositional fundamentals.” This inclination is due to an unconventional attitude towards art that has developed over the course of his time at Westmont. He also explores the categories of film, digital photography, graphic design, video production, and land art installations.
Peterson’s broad spectrum of artistic abilities is credited to his studio art major, which differs from an art major in that a studio arts major is well rounded, exploring numerous art forms instead of specializing in only one or two. Despite a lack of artistic skill before coming to Westmont, the variety of skills practiced through his major has enabled him to develop quickly and effectively, earning recognition from professors and peers alike. Peterson explains further, “This has taught me to incorporate ideas and processes from other mediums and to have the wherewithal and courage to take risks, try new art forms, and combine some together.” So, although he may not be particularly adept at painting realistic landscapes or portraits, he has become highly skilled in his particular niche. Additionally, as a result of the courses he has taken at Westmont, Peterson has gained the ability to learn quickly, problem solve, think abstractly and philosophically, and most importantly, to not get lost in the details. He explains that “just because you can’t draw ‘realistically’ or paint mind-bending realism, doesn’t mean you cannot be an artist.”
Peterson is currently developing a series of seven sculptures that will be on display at the senior art show on April 4, and he encourages the Westmont community to come and see his work, along with other fellow seniors. Just for fun, he has also been working on some large scale abstract oil paintings that use an earth-tone primary color scheme.
After graduation, Peterson plans to work as an assistant to ceramics professor Chris Rupp at the Westmont Art Museum through the summer. After working as an assistant, he hopes to land a job in Los Angeles working in and around the esports scene.