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Remembering Peter G. Pereira (1962-2021)

Our friend Peter was born in Queens and passed away in Delray Beach Florida after a long illness.

We first became acquainted with Peter G. Pereira in 2008 during his exhibition at the Logos Book Store on York Avenue in New York City, of his paintings inspired by the gardens in the nearby Carl Schurz Park. My husband, Ed McCormack referred to his earlier drawings and paintings as “featuring sensually contoured figures formed from linear swirls that hark back to Art Nouveau, the Psychedelic art if the 1960s, and most particularly the biomorphic, often erotic surrealism of Hans Bellmer.“
Over the years we would see Peter and his wife, Kay Hallny around the neighborhood, either on the street or in Starbucks and he was constantly taking pictures —not posed— he would always seem to be interested in unremarkable moments. We wondered at the time, “Why is he taking all of these pictures? Why does he want them? And what is he going to do with them?”

Later Peter sent us pictures that he had taken of us, but now they were stylized and made to look like comic book characters. We still didn’t understand the point until he sent us whole pages of different people in the neighborhood, sitting
on benches, drinking coffee, walking in the street. There were cartoon speech balloons added and the text was casual. There was no narrative, just nondescript casual moments with simple everyday dialogue. And then we realized that the point he was making is that

we don’t live in Narratives: we live in Moments. In this new form he developed, he was drawing on the form of comic strip as a starting point and produced strong digitalized images from casual photography of people he knew, giving significance to
the moments in life that mostly go unnoticed. Our local newspaper, Our Town published his comic graphics.

In 2014 Peter told us about a show he was having on Governor’s Island which he called Trees of Life Sculpture/Multimedia Installation with Figment Arts which later went on tour. It involved trees wrapped in a fabric in which he added hand painted names of people’s pets or significant others. Peter was an expansive artist, always surprising us with something new. Like Joseph Beuys, Peter was not locked into a single approach in his creative process. His art was a challenging and philosophical commentary on life. He explored his art through varied perspectives including Multimedia, Theater, Ecology and Landscaping, etc.

Alex Hadley who interviewed Peter and wrote the last article about him said: “Peter captured everyday moments and shared them, hoping to encourage us to ponder and appreciate them for ourselves.” A few years ago, Peter and Kate moved to Florida where Peter had a teaching assignment. In his lifetime he taught a very important and powerful lesson through his art. We live in Moments, not Narratives. Moments are sacred.

Thank you Peter.

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