Peter studied art at Croydon College of Art and Hampstead School of Art in London, and at West Dean College in Sussex, England. For many years he worked internationally as an award-winning film editor, on features, documentaries, and commercials. He now lives and works on the East End of Long Island, NY, and paints full time.
One consequence of developing story-telling skills during his career in film is that many of his paintings are instilled with a narrative element. His work utilizes precise composition, along with choice and intensity of color, to lead the observer towards new insights into the familiar.
Peter's work is generally described as realist, but his paintings often contain elements of the surreal. By removing incidental and unnecessary details from everyday settings the content is distilled into a pure, intense, and subliminally unsettling depiction.
His paintings have been exhibited on Long Island at the Quogue Gallery and the Quogue Library, in juried shows at East End Arts gallery in Riverhead, and at the Southampton Cultural Center. In the fall of 2014 East End Arts presented his work in a solo exhibition at the Rosalie Dimon Gallery in Jamesport.
In July of 2015 he had a solo exhibition at Remsenburg Academy, entitled Daylight & Darkness. The paintings in this show explored the relationships and intersections between the natural and man-made worlds, and how light and the absence of light can evoke emotions and ideas that run counter to conventional expectations.
In June of 2017 East End Arts and Peconic Landing presented Peter’s series of genre paintings in an exhibition entitled Palm Beach Stories, in the auditorium at Peconic Landing, Jamesport, New York. This series of paintings, each three-foot-six high by six feet wide, is set in the sub-topical environment of southern Florida, and draws on the artist’s long career in film and his love of movies.
Each painting evokes a different movie genre and contains narrative threads that reflect elements of that genre. The images visit the worlds of the crime thriller, science fiction, romance, disaster, and black comedy.
The pictures explore the subjects of anger and violence, the clash between the man-made and natural worlds, the complexity of desire and the imagined ideal, the fragility and vulnerability of our environment, and the ongoing conflict between urban development and native wildlife. While using these subjects as starting points, the stories within each painting can be re-written as often as there are viewers to observe them.
Peter's paintings are in private collections in New York City, on Long Island, in Florida, New York, Rhode Island, Toronto Ontario, and London England.
His work is represented by William Ris Gallery, Jamesport, NY. www.williamris.com
Visit Peter Beston’s website at www.peterbeston.com to see more of his work.