We were first introduced to the work of Peter Gerakaris at the Surrey Hotel, where his multi-colored collage Floating Garden covers a shed on the roof top garden. The installation, curated by Natasha Schlesinger of Art Muse, feels natural despite its combination of rich colors, faint imagery and erratic tears; it merges without hesitation with the cityscape and the greenery around it. This site specific installation is emblematic for Gerakaris’ work, for which he often mixes imagery from all around the world with traditional woodblock Japanese prints and origami techniques.
The inception of each of Gerakaris’ art pieces always starts with a paint brush on canvas or paper, and from there can grow and be transformed into prints, his signature origami sculptures, or installations. This traditional approach to art-making is reflected in the tangibility of the work. Each stroke, whether printed or painted, seems to be an immediate extension of the artist himself, the rainbow of colors and motives flowing straight out of his body.
Everything I do has to start by hand on paper or canvas, that tangible, analog connection to the work is critical to how I think.
The natural world is a common theme in Gerakaris’ practice, it has not only inspired his colors but the imagery included in the works. Large-scale pieces such as Tropicália, another site-specific installation he did for the groundbreaking of the Cornell Tech campus, show feathers, mountains and bees, within the kaleidoscope of colors. For this specific work the artist also composed a sound element that replayed chirping birds and the cracking and howling of nature itself. Furthermore each viewer was given Chromadepth 3-D glasses to fully immerse him or herself in the artwork, making it a truly phenomenological experience.
We sat down with Peter Gerakaris for a conversation about the importance of nature, bees and other organic shapes in his work as well as his practice and future projects. Check out the video below!
All images courtesy by Peter Gerakaris.