My name is Peter Gegolick and I’m an abstract artist from St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Even though I have been participating in creative endeavours for most of my life, I’ve only seriously painting for about five years. This five-year art journey began on a whim and was fueled by a desire to expand his mind and to allow for everyday creative experimentation.
I grew up in the snowboard/skateboard scene in the early 00’s. Graffiti, hip hop, and the graphics in both scenes were a strong influence on me during those years. I started by creating my own graphics and designs that were inspired by what was around me and what the companies in those industries were pushing. I’ve been dabbling ever since.
As far as seriously painting, I sort of started on a whim. I needed something that would allow me to escape, so I decided to start painting with the goal of showing my work publicly. And although I haven’t had a solo show yet, I know I am getting close.
My Style, Materials, Tools, and Process
My work has flavours of graffiti, urban decay, calligraphy, material experimentation, minimalism, and de-constructivism. Although not every piece has all of these characteristics, I think that each work has at least a few of those aspects intertwined in it.
As far as materials go, I try to use anything and everything. I’m working on pieces that will incorporate things like concrete tiles, broken glass shards, metal leaf, or Ikea picture frames. My latest series that I’m working on involves stiffened coloured canvases that are intertwined into Ikea frames.
This anything and everything mentality also applies to the tools I use. I generally gravitate to tools that will create interesting textures or are simply grand in scale. A lot of my go-to tools include tile grout trowels, squeegees, block print rollers, kitchen knives, and hardware store paint brushes. Each one will create something wild, whether it is controlled or happenstance.
When I’m painting, I usually working on about 5 pieces at once, so my basement studio usually looks pretty cluttered. I tend to experiment with something different on each of them and then incorporate the stuff that works into other pieces. It is a non-stop evolution.
I love the saying that art is how we decorate space and music how we decorate time. It really speaks to me, as my main inspiration comes from electronic music and other artists, whether it is my artist friends or other artists on Instagram.
I must preface by saying that when I mention “electronic music,” I’m taking about the artists that are genre-bending and pushing boundaries with every production they make; not the mass produced “EDM” that runs rampant these days. There is something attractive about the artists that really want to try something new or experiment with outlandish sounds. Electronic music, at least in my opinion, has the least amount of restrictions as far as what can be considered music or part of the genre and has an extremely wide range of wonderful subgenres. The lack of restrictions or boundaries is something I strive for in my art. People ask me why I use things like broken glass in my paintings or don’t just stick to canvas/boards and I reply by asking them what is stopping them from doing the same.
As far as other artists go, I generally gravitate to those that are more conceptual and usually fall under one or more of the attributed in style. We’ve been given two ears, two eyes, and one mouth, so I try to listen and visualize twice as much as I speak. I know that I learn and get inspired by surrounding myself with creative and intelligent people. I tend to experiment with techniques or ideas they have, then take it down a different path. They may also say something profound and it changes how I approach things in my life, not even from an artistic standpoint.
I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that relates to outside artists or those that are really pushing the boundaries. As much as their work might walk the line of being considered art, they are the main reason for growth. Even if you don’t consider what they made good, you may get an idea that you can incorporate into your life or art. Without this type of thought process, whether it is conscious or subconscious, can open the door to something new. That’s how abstract art was created. Everyone thought it wasn’t worth anything at the start of this century and look at where we are now. I wouldn’t consider myself one of them, but I have infinite amounts of respect for what they do.
My two motivators are spreading my love of art to others and always challenging myself. Both relate to my hope that others will stop worrying about what they can’t do and start to think about why they haven’t started yet.
Art can be as difficult as you want it to be. I find people get too caught up with what can be considered “good” art and that they create would not fall within that category. Art like hyperrealism requires a work and determination to master, but does that mean it has it carries more value than a minimalist painting or a non-representational abstract sculpture? What creates the inherent value in a piece of art? It is completely subjective. Value can mean anything from monetary, social, creative values, mechanical skill, and everything in between. I think that people should find what they like and just have fun.
If I can help someone realize that they can become an artist as well, I feel I’ve done something important.
My main goal is to continue to painting and create for as long as I possibly can. It is an activity that I can carry throughout the rest of my live and can easily pass down to others.
Getting into galleries or making money are sub-goals to that, but I am less concerned about those aspects, especially the latter one. Getting into galleries are important from an exposure standpoint, but there a lot of good outlets to show art around Edmonton, so I’m fine from that standpoint. As for money, I don’t paint to live, so it isn’t a major problem right now. Whenever I sell something, I generally re-invest it into art supplies anyways. Although, if I could retire early and get carried on my paintings, I’d be okay with that.
Go out and create. Don’t be afraid of failing and learn to enjoy the process. Everything can be covered with gesso.