Peter Ivancovich Gives Viewers Natural/Wonder
October 18th, artist talk at 7pm
October 20th, Artist Reception, 6-10pm
By Genie Davis
A landscape designer for 20 years, photographic artist Peter Ivancovich offers a lush one-week show at Fabrik Projects beginning October 18th with an artist talk at 7 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on the 20th.
Ivancovich channels the gorgeous floral still life paintings of 17th Century Dutch artists, shaping modern takes on layered, lovely tableaux.
According to Ivancovich “I’ve always been interested in the natural world. My house itself is kind of a cabin of curiosity. I collect many things, I love color patterns, and I have butterflies all over my walls. I’m definitely not a minimalist,” he laughs. He calls his photographic art a natural and organic outgrowth of his personal aesthetic.
“In landscaping, especially recently, the look has become more severe, with clean, minimal lines, square pools, hedges, and a lawn. I wanted to do something completely different with my art, something rich and beautiful, something that went beyond a floral arrangement with another-worldly quality.”
With a background in fashion photography as well as landscaping, he married both disciplines in his art to shape a unifying vision among 20 highly detailed works. “I basically did a series in different colors. I knew I wanted to do a purely creative project, and it just came to me. I collected some items, such as ethically sourced, often antique birds and bugs and I found fabrics. I went to the flower mart and picked out the flowers that spoke to me. I made a mini-world in each photo, exploring a color or collection of colors, such as blue, or rainbow, in each piece.”
Along with creating something beautiful, Ivancovich also wanted to include materials that were at least symbolically a touch disturbing, adding images that dealt with both perfection and it’s polar opposite, decay. “I wanted to show both life and death. The Dutch masters did it with a flower losing its petals and falling apart. For me it was all a heightened version of reality in creating these images.”
Heightened, yes, but not artificially enhanced. “Everything I used is real, nothing is created from or pulled from computer imagery. I used some Photoshop to merge sections of images that were shot separately, but that is all that I did.”
His detailed work includes everything from flowers to fabric backgrounds to even “tiny bugs that look like skulls – they naturally look that way, they’re not enhanced.”
His vibrant color palette represents the way Ivancovich “sees” the natural world. “That’s at least how I would like it to be. My version is entirely maximalist, I’d like to live like a ‘20s movie star. I don’t want to live in a world where the entire room is white with one turquoise vase on a counter,” he explains, but jokingly adds “I hope that someone with a white room will purchase one of my works and hang it in that room to add the pop and color and drama of the art.”
Along with the intensely colored works Ivancovich is exhibiting, he’s included two more tonal works, one with a silver background and one in black and white. He is currently “remixing” some images, pixilating them to create what he terms his “edgiest” work.
Overall, the artist terms the experience of creating the exhibition as “going into your toy box and playing with so much pleasure, creating my perfect world.” He adds that he felt as if he was compelled to make these works, partially in response to the passing of his mother. In fact, he’s named many of the works as a tribute to her. One piece is titled after a year book quote about her “She Knows What’s What;” another after the name of her Illinois home town, “Mascoutah.” Another piece, one directly inspired by the work of Balthazar Van der Ast, is titled “After Van der Ast.” That work features the exact same type of seashell depicted in the Dutch artist’s painting in a photograph that Ivancovich terms a “tribute” to that artist.
He hopes that his light-filled, vibrant exhibition can “contribute something to the world by showing beauty. I want people to have happiness and joy from my work. There is also a quirk factor with a little darkness that’s a part of it because there is always darkness hiding behind the light, isn’t there?”
The artist plans to follow up this project with two different photographic projects. One he terms a “grittier, cinema-verite type work with a melancholy feel” which Ivancovich is shooting on his iPhone in locations throughout the LA area, from thrift shops to bus stops. The other project will add voluptuous nudes and larger-scale animal imagery to his still life work.
For now, viewers can indulge in the opulent textures, colors, and objects in Natural/Wonder, and revel along with Ivancovich in the beauty he’s discovered.