Pete Wheeler is an artist and painter who lays his ideas bare on the canvas.
His work defies classification but is recognisable for its recurring themes and portrayal of death, religion and politics. Weaving together unexpected combinations of imagery, Pete creates creative dissonance, disjunction and discord. His striking work often appears to engage with current social issues, but stops short of being specific; Pete creates artworks that are forever in the moment, both current and eternal.
Pete uses a range of painting techniques and mediums including glitter, pigment, rabbit skin glue, oil stick and oil paint on the reverse of primed linen or canvas. His use of these and photo emulsion are akin to techniques used by Francis Bacon.
Born in Geraldine, New Zealand, Pete now lives and creates in Berlin, Germany. He graduated with a Batchelor of Fine Arts from Otago Polytechnic in 2000 and in 2009, gained an MFA at Otago University. He has held many solo and group exhibitions across New Zealand, Australia, America and Europe, including in the Tape Modern (2010, Berlin) and at Art Basel (2011, Switzerland). In 2017, he was a finalist for the Wallace Art Awards.
His work is also held in prestigious international collections including the Zabludowicz Collection (London) and Martin Sosnoff Collection (New York).
Pete says; "painting is a grind, over time it can become a job just like any other job, so in order to keep it exciting, spontaneous and fun I like the idea of not being so linear in a narrative or direction. […] I was listening to a Nick Cave interview once, and he was talking about how, when his songs end up being played on the radio, they became tame and domestic and he doesn't like that, he wants them to be wild... I kinda feel some correlation between that and how I make paintings."