Peter Ydeen currently lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and works in New York City. He studied painting and sculpture at Virginia Tech, under Ray Kass, (BA), Brooklyn College under Alan D'Arcangelo and Robert Henry and Phillip Pearlstien, (MFA Fellowship) and at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Scholarship) with visiting artists, Francesco Clemente, Judy Pfaff, William Wegman, Mark Di Suvero and others.
After his studies were completed, Peter made his way in a variety of jobs, including set construction, lighting, illustrations, architectural modeling working in architecture, stage, advertising and film. Later, after marrying his wife Mei li, they opened a gallery in New York City selling African, Chinese and Tibetan sculpture.
Over the last several years Peter has concentrated on photography where he is able to use the many years spent learning to see.
Easton Nights is a story which grew from the unique and uncommon valley in which the city lies; and is told with the images of unpeopled landscapes taken at night. Here, in the small hours, the world we see as mundane, cascades into dream. Like a surreal scene from a Guillermo del Toro film, trash bins and Toyotas, stop signs and doorways; all become animated. They lean; they stretch, and emanate, all with umbrageous hues, which seem to exhale from the nights own personal color wheel. Scattered signs give the words, marking our place in time, while the geometries show our relentless effort to arrange our world in a box. These are our stages, with the houses our beehives, the machines our toys, and the doors our portals. Complete they are a mimesis of our daily life, as can only shown in the mystical emptiness of night. Then with the dawn comes the beginning, where we all wake, then act; all while these magical and romantic worlds return to sleep.
Traveling from the industrial town of Easton, Pennsylvania, through sparsely populated western New Jersey, and into the cacophony of New York City, Commuter Motions is a photography series that develops from the experiential capture of an eighty-mile commute. By opposing the usual fixity of photography, the series attempts to capture the energy and movement of that commute using an almost Bergsonian approach, which, through time-lapse, builds images from segments of a continuous dynamic. These photographs are not about the specificity of a “decisive moment” but are more in line with the thoughts and theories of late 19th and early 20th-century artists, who were immersed in the concepts of perpetuity, fleeting moments, change, chance and dynamism. Time surfaces as a fourth verity, adding to Robert Adam’s three: geography, biography and metaphor. It is that fourth that which gives us not a moment in time, but instead, a cross-section of a continuum. The usually narrow focus of our memory is substituted with an accumulation of peripheral vision, which creates an image reflecting the gestalt of these movements, a gestalt we perceive and experience but do not visually remember. Through this unusual form of capture, Commuter Motions frames the labyrinth of oscillating movements of our highways, bridges, and cities into photographs that reflect the élan vital of our daily commute.
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