Lemon over Lace is the new solo exhibition of Peter Fowler and showcase a collection of paintings inspired by Spanish Graffiti.
“Ive taken inspiration from a piece of graffiti that was in my neighborhood when I lived in Seville, Spain. I had a poor grasp of the language and a graffiti writing on the wall became my first translation project. It said: El Rey de los grillos, Busca su voz. I found it compelling as it was a very poetic bit of graffiti and also seemed to mean two things at once. First, that the king of crickets looks for his voice. And Second, that the king of crickets looks for your voice. It was pertinent to me as I was as urgently looking for my voice as a spanish speaker and also for my voice as an artist. The entire ten years I lived in Seville so did this graffiti. The words have lived with me for the past 34 years almost like a song lyric and as with many songs, my memory of the lyric is flawed. Last summer I was going through some old memorabilia and I remembered the graffiti and I decided to google the phrase. I suppose if I were a bit less obtuse I would have guessed that this graffiti had a more famous origin. It is a fragment of the poem “El niño mudo” (the mute boy”) by Federico Garcia Lorca. The feeling of reading this fragment of graffiti on the internet, as it expanded into a fabulous poem was inspiring and has sparked my nostalgia of a past, and fueled me for the show.
During my time here I have been a landscape painter of the Buffalo river, the silos, and the city. I have also done a few series of florals with birds. For this show I wanted to go back to my beginnings as an artist in Seville and try to resurrect my passion for the figure and the “personaje” (character) in the story of life. I also wanted to embrace themes like the heroic, the current times we are living, and loss. Wonder Woman is an inspiration as is the traditional theme of the Last Stand. Change is also present, as is the theme of Distance between people and ideas. We all witness and live change.
In Seville there are many festivals honoring saints both male and female and often a poster is made by a local artist. In the past the art was paint based and often in the foreground of the poster was a window ledge or table top that inevitably had a bit of lace cloth and a lemon. Behind this still life hovered churches and angels and images of saintly things. I have remembered mainly the lemon over lace from these posters. I have also envied how well the lemons over lace were rendered. I have missed those years in Seville. This I suppose is where the loss comes in.”