Peter Passuntino lives and works in New York City. Digging at the roots that anchor the world and shape encounter between humanity and nature, Passuntino documents his observation through pictorial language. He creates surreal narratives, as he juxtaposes realistic forms (concentrating on the female or male body) against implausible space and, in turn, echoes the ephemera of contemporary society.
Passuntino manipulates material and imagery to render real human interactions. He layers visual, narrative and symbolic motifs; multiple viewing planes arise. Consequently, his work commands attention. Implications of the decorative surface evoke a myriad of conflicting feelings from a viewer. Toying with ubiquitous iconography and subject matter, he postures signifier next to signified. However, his use of technical representation and emotive color easily coalesce into composition.
During the 1970’s, Passuntino co-founded the figurative expressionist artist group Rhino Horn. Alluding to formal and metaphoric toughness of art, Rhino Horn contested the New York School rhetoric; they promoted political and social discourse through American Figurative Expressionism. When the art world’s repeated a flat Pop mantra,Passuntino chose to illuminate figuration utilizing the era’s “new” materials.
Born in Chicago, IL, Passuntino attended at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1954 to 1958, later studying at Institut des Arts et Archeologie and Sir William Hayter Atelier, both in Paris, during 1963 through 1965. At eighteen Peter exhibited in a group show at the Carnegie Institute and, at nineteen, had a solo show at the Artists Guild in Chicago. Passuntino shows internationally, and his work is in numerous private and public collections.
Text by Megan M Garwood