D’Arcy Simpson Art Works Presents: Why Look? by Xan Peters
In Why Look?, Xan Peters asks the viewer what we can learn about our natural world when it comes to us as an artistic expression, free from the detachment of science.
Xan Peters started studying paleontology as an undergrad, which influences their art. Peters switched their degree to art after three years and has a minor in museum studies, with a focus in geology, however their bachelors is in painting.
Xan Peters is originally from Clearwater, FL and moved to the Hudson Valley last year after finishing their MFA at Tufts and was hired to teach painting.
About their work, Peters adds, “The animals are painted from museum specimens or are composite images made from multiple specimens. They’re all painted in the studio from photo references that I’ve taken. The dinosaurs were hard to find to paint from life.
I hope that art can reveal how we look at our environmental situation and what we feel is attainable and I feel that much of it comes from how we interact and learn about it through the lens of the museum. I am an optimistic person but I’d like stay realistic about the gravity of the situation. Extinction of species will have effects that are far-reaching. It won’t just be the charismatic megafauna that disappear; it will be ecosystems and agriculture as we know, if things do not change. The world has gone through many iterations of life. My work seeks to dissect the separation that modernity puts between us and other forms of life. They’re not just curiosities for the museum wall. There are multitudes of interconnected stories in every unassuming thing in a museum.”
Peters’ current show, Why Look? at D’Arcy Simpson Art Works through April, examines how we look at nature. What does it mean when we take these images of animals and put them against the white wall of a museum, or the animals themselves in a zoo? How does this help our current environmental crisis?
In order to study animals, we may idealize them, and put them in a zoo. But, how do we encounter moments with animals in nature?
Peters asks the question, “What are we looking at?” or, “Why look?”
Photos from the Opening Reception:
Jeremy Bullis, Kelly Quan-McIntyre, David McIntyre, and Michael Simpson
Chiarra Hughes-Mba and Jonah Bokaer
Xan Peters and Ellen D’Arcy Simpson
- Mar 25 2023
- 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- D'Arcy Simpson Artworks
- 409 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534
Fresh Hand-Picked Local Art & Design for Your Space
Ellen D'Arcy Simpson