Peter Opheim is an American artist, born in 1961, in Landstuhl, Germany. He lives and works in New York City, New York and in San Cristobal, New Mexico.
His ongoing body of work is a complex amalgamation of portraiture and still-life. For Opheim, it is important that his work have a real world referent, and to this end, he renders tiny clay models before beginning a painting. The “subjects” are an ever expanding family of grotesquely soulful creatures.
Lovingly painted creatures with colorful, play-doh-like skin confront the viewer with bulging eyes, disjointed body parts and various, sometimes misplaced, orifices. As Boston Globe critic Cate McQuaid observed, “Opheim navigates the unruly thicket of themes blending childhood with adulthood – concepts that we ordinarily prefer to keep separate – to unsettling effects.”
Opheim’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally and is in many public and private collections. Most recently he has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, at Zevitas/Marcus Gallery, in Seoul, Korea at the Columns Gallery, in Miami at Now Contemporary Art, in Boston, at Steven Zevitas Gallery, and in New York City at VOLTA NY, with the Steven Zevitas Gallery.