pete kohut

This series of experimental portraits explores the relationship between recognition and fragmentation. Based on found imagery of fashion models and club nightlife, these portraits evoke the memory of individuals from a particular period of the artist's past.

Each large oil on canvas painting is made up from four panels. These panels are rearranged once the initial portrait is roughed in to activate the gestural marks in the painting while disguising the image. This process leads to an image that prompts the viewer to decipher it: much like piecing together a memory. The large scale of these paintings emphasizes the physicality of the materials and takes the depiction of a face into the area of abstraction. Smaller panels are included in the series to act as a counterpoint.

Figures that are fractured, layered, and distorted are the imagery that make up the oil-on-canvas paintings by Pete Kohut. These paintings represent a reflection on how we process the high frequency and large quantity of images that we are exposed to each and every day. Kohut attempts to distill the influence of popular images, mainly from fashion magazines and online portfolios, and scenes from everyday life into puzzling and ambiguous paintings which the viewer must solve and digest at their own pace.

Weirdly distorted and morphing figures in confusing spaces. Patterned marks, raw colours and contrasts, shifting perspective, layers and history of making. Paintings that represent people and spaces but also reference the flatness of surface.


The subject of human interaction is fascinating. For an introverted person, meeting other people is often fraught with anxiety. This anxiety is processed into these paintings.


Scenes from everyday life act as an armature onto which energetic brushwork infuse these scenes with activity and evoke a sense of fleeting memories.