Born in the town of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Peter Barbor has lived and worked across the United States. He received his BFA with Honors in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. In 2017, he graduated from the University of Washington’s 3D4M program having earned the de Cillia Teaching with Excellence Award.
Peter has been an artist-in-residence at the Worcester Center for Crafts, Kirkland Arts Center, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He has exhibited throughout the continental United States as well as in Italy.Straddling territory between ceramics, sculpture, and drawing, Peter’s work engages the histories and mythologies of the sculpted figure. He is particularly concerned with exposing vulnerabilities and porosities in how these narratives define masculinity.
Most recently, Peter has been invited to work as Visiting Faculty at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta, where he is excited to teach Ceramics for the coming year.
I draw from the deep well of history. Kouros figures, depictions of Christ, and unruly Anglo-Saxon warriors all animate my imagination as I try to parse the old idea of the young man. Through mining ancient imagery, I fashion my work into an intersection of past and present. How the image existed before the era of art, and how it functions now, forms the arch of time I consider in the studio.
Using a menagerie of plastic materials, I stretch skins and pinch into place bodies and forms. Intuition serves as my principal guide. I seek to make sculpting a process similar to drawing. As I satisfy my gestural impulse, I barter with gravity, weight, and the unwieldy alchemies at my fingertips. I consider historical references as prototypes which intersect with the raw sensibility of my making. Approaching resolution, my sculptures may be suspended in a moment of becoming or decomposition.
Borrowing from images whose original contexts may have long expired, I acknowledge time’s flattening effect on history. What remains extant; what has distorted in the present tense? Asking this question, I hope to argue that all that is old is new again. To pick at the body of my forefather, I examine my own.