Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, the Lomography Gallery NYC is always showing something amazing. Here we meet with Vienna-born artist and illustrator Peter Phobia, whose recent exhibition Lost and Found playfully integrated instant photography, text, and drawing. Learn more in this exclusive interview!
Hi Peter! Welcome to Lomography. Can you tell us a bit about you?
My name is Peter Phobia, I’m an artist and illustrator currently based in Vienna, Austria. I predominantly focus on drawing, yet I apply it to a wide range of mediums, such as illustration, large scale drawings on paper or murals on the streets.
What was it like showing in the Lomography Gallery? Tell us about the opening.
‘Lost And Found’ was my first solo exhibition in the US, but more importantly, the first time I’ve included photography in one of my exhibitions. Therefore, I was extremely curious how the audience would react to
this new type of work and especially how the photos would merge with my drawings on the wall. The opening night went great, I got very positive feedback, had interesting conversations about my work and met wonderful people.
What inspires you?
I am deeply influenced by what’s happening around me. Whether it is the people I’m talking to, the books and magazines I read, the content I’m exposed to on blogs or the internet in general. In my work I’m trying to reflect on social and political issues, the influence of pop culture on our generation or even just everyday life observations I come across while walking through the city or being on public transport.
What was it like shooting with the Lomo Instant Wide?
I really enjoyed shooting with it. The camera is fun and easy to use, the quality of the instant photos are amazing and last but not least, each picture is a unique piece of art.
How did you incorporate photography into your usual process of drawing?
Usually, when I’m working on a drawing I use photo reference. But the photos I take mostly won’t leave my studio and nobody gets to see it besides myself. So for this show, it was really exciting to actually expand my work process and create a dialogue between the photos and my drawings.
Why is it important to work in different mediums?
Since nobody is a master of all trades, working in different mediums ultimately means stepping outside your comfort zone. In my opinion, that’s really important for creatives and essential for growing as an artist.
What's next for you?
At the moment I’m working on my first illustrated picture book (more info soon!). Besides that, in May I’m taking part in several group shows in New York, Miami, and Vienna. During the summer I’ll be painting a mural for Red Bull in the Austrian mountains and another one for Calle Libre Festival in Vienna. In September, during Berlin Art Week, I’ll have a solo show in collaboration with The Art Union in Berlin.
About Lost and Found: Peter Phobia is an artist and illustrator currently living in Vienna, Austria. Predominantly focussing on drawing, his works range from small pieces to larger than life formats. Even though his use of color is mostly restrained and limited it still has a strong impact on his work. The use of written elements in form of quotes and excerpts of texts play an important role in his art and often complement the visual parts in his pieces. He is deeply influenced by pop culture, everyday life observations and often comments on the human being within society. In his exhibition LOST AND FOUND, Peter presents a selection of recent works which reflect on how certain fragments of American culture are imported to and consumed by the rest of the world.
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