I was lucky enough to have the chance to curate Man Lives Through Plutonium Blast by Peter Brown Leighton at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas. The exhibit will be featured in the Palmetto Center for the Art’s gallery space from October 29th to December 2nd.
Writing in 1961, a year before the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez declared that life was the best thing ever invented. If we are to take him at his word, the question left begging is this: If life is in fact the best of inventions, why is it, in our modern era, that humanity seems so persistently inclined to push itself to the very brink of extinction in ever more creative and lethal ways?
The imaginary vernacular images in the series, “Man Lives Through Plutonium Blast”, have been created in the shadows of this paradox. Rooted in the soil of my coming of age, its images are sourced from bits and pieces of discarded analog photographs acquired over the years from the dust bins of the twentieth century.
They represent narrative threads populated by monochrome men fallen from grace, ambivalent women standing on the cusp of reinvention and feral, free range children born to run, all living with the threat of an end to the world as they know it circling high overhead.
These are cultural themes established in my youth that have continued to mutate and metastasize in society for the better part of my life. They inform works in this portfolio that are of the past and yet are also of the world as we know it today, spilling over with question marks and exclamation points, as unpredictable and absurd as ever.
Peter Brown Leighton
To see more of Peter Brown Leighton’s work, please click here.