ARTIST: PETER KALISCH

Artist Statement

Peter Kalisch is a visual artist living in Los Angeles, CA. His work is self-described as the relationship between color and horror, attempting to blur lines and create new boundaries. Coming from an upbringing grounded in rigor and conservatism, his work often sheds light on the danger, blindness, (or fun) that may arise while experiencing first-world culture. His perceptions of the conduct he witnesses, juxtaposed with his own personal morals have allowed him to develop an artistic style that is aggressive and dogmatic, with a political edge. Kalisch approaches the concept of blurring the face from a need to be anonymous for personal and political protection.

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‘Residence Hall’
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‘Shame King’

We are entering an age where privacy is literally dead, all of our information is documented without our intention. This provides a separate, digital reality where our identities are stored, which makes being truly anonymous incredibly difficult. It is important for artists to always be reaching for a level of purity in their work, and being anonymous is one way to achieve this. Without fear of critique on one’s morals or integrity, one has the freedom to be as bold, brash, or obscene as they like to, and it would never be attributed to what their identity represents.

The art world in particular has a way of categorizing work based certain attributes of the artwork. When one chooses to remain anonymous, or distort one’s appearance in their work, they make the choice to make it more difficult for collectors and audiences to categorize their work into one specific genre. I support Balaclava.Q as a movement that chooses to de-prioritize the material and prioritize the artworks themselves, rather than prioritize a legacy or fame a specific artist may carry with them. It is vital for artists to engage in debate and discussion with one another, in order to further our critical understanding of the world around us.

We are informants of knowledge, and we have the power to visually represent information that others may be too fearful to be open about.

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Title: UNNATURAL PRACTICES

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Still from ‘Unnatural Practices’
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Still from ‘Unnatural Practices’
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Still from ‘Unnatural Practices’
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Still from ‘Unnatural Practices’

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Watch ‘Unnatural Practices’ on the Balaclava.Q YouTube channel. 

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PETER KALISCH IS A 19 YEAR OLD ARTIST AND STUDENT LIVING IN LOS ANGELES, CA. HIS WORK IS SELF-DESCRIBED AS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COLOR AND HORROR, ATTEMPTING TO BLUR LINES AND CREATE NEW BOUNDARIES. COMING FROM AN UPBRINGING GROUNDED IN RIGOR, CONSERVATISM, AND CYNICISM, HIS WORK OFTEN SHEDS LIGHT ON THE DANGER, BLINDNESS, (OR FUN) THAT MAY ARISE WHILE EXPERIENCING FIRST-WORLD CULTURE. HIS PERCEPTIONS OF THE CONDUCT HE WITNESSES, JUXTAPOSED WITH HIS OWN PERSONAL MORALS, HAVE ALLOWED HIM TO DEVELOP AN ARTISTIC STYLE THAT IS AGGRESSIVE AND DIDACTIC, WITH A POLITICAL EDGE.

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Title: ESCAPING THE PAST

This project took me through a process which required me to do more work than I ever have in a short amount of time. The process of mold making and casting is one that requires precision. Precision and rigor has always been lacking in my practice, which is arguably why I approach art the way I do. However, I realized in the course of this project that I would have to implement a sense of rigor in order to achieve my goal (which I did not). The process itself overcame the entirety of the work and completely exhausted me, mentally and physically. This frustration and lethargy is activated in the process of treating the sculptures like trash, climbing on top of, and breaking them in order to expel that retained energy. This project’s genesis has to do with my interest in different cultures’ images of the idealized human figure. Each culture has a different sense of their ideal, which can be noted in researching ancient Egyptian, African, Mediterranean, and South American cultures. The comparison of these idealistic figures has weight to teach us about our past as a human race, also how our present perceptions of cultures have come to be determined. Through the destruction of these “idealized” sculptures I created, I want to convey a sense of erasing the past in order to make way for a new discussion to be had. I want to signify an irrelevance towards all of these “ideals”, because a standard/stereotype has potential to be reductive for progressing society.

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Still from ‘Escaping the Past’
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Still from ‘Escaping the Past’
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Still from ‘Escaping the Past’

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Watch ‘Escaping the Past’ on the Balaclava.Q YouTube channel. 

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Still from ‘I WILL LEAD YOU TO GLORIOUS TIMES’
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Still from ‘I WILL LEAD YOU TO GLORIOUS TIMES’

You can explore more of Kalisch’s works by visiting this artists’ website and Vimeo channel.

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All images and videos were kindly supplied by the artist.

Please ask the artist before using them.

Thank you.

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