Ask any artist what his or her favorite type of art is and chances are you will never get the same answer twice. For Peter Eaton Gurnz the answer is as clear as large sheet of acrylic. A pioneer of industrial design and photography, Gurnz’s photographs come framed and constructed with resin, acrylic, wood, bolts, and metal (known as “Gels,”) which have a beauty of imagery and structural design that give a nod to the classic stain glass windows of the renaissance era.
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in industrial design and photography, Gurnz began selling his unique ceramics, sculptures, and photographs on Prince Street in New York City’s bohemian brotherhood Greenwich Village. Shortly thereafter, he embarked on his career-defining mentorship under visionary artist Peter Beard, crystallizing an already blossoming infatuation with fashion and it’s beautiful creatures. Beard’s interest in Gurnz, in addition to their friendship, came from Gurnz’s application of photographs into Gels.
Peter developed into everything that is expected of a dedicated artist: generous, iconoclastic, and a visionary as anyone who ever made art. He went on to create BOXEIGHT Studios in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, an artist collective that provides an organized platform for artists to explore and showcase their pieces and future creations. Reminiscent to the Warhol Factory and the Chelsea Hotel, Gurnz’s BOXeight has built a strong reputation and loyal following.
Personally, a child at heart and intensely focused on capturing the magical subtleties of beauty, Peter was flushed when honored as a Modern Master by the MMFA gallery, and the Palm Spring Museum of Art, and had his works placed in the permanent collections of the Hammond Museum in New York. His full exhibition of his nude selections from the art book publication “We Are All Kids… NAKED + BEAUTIFUL” was held at the Valentine De Baderau Gallery on the island of St. Barths in 2010. The show has now been installed in several art galleries in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Paris.
His ambitious creations marry the still photograph with the construction of the physical piece. The still image is physically manipulated into tangible objects that lend the final piece to carry more weight and significance. It becomes a manifestation of art direction and composition with the aesthetic of unadulterated naked raw beauty. The Gels are not a presentation of an image but as a piece of artwork itself. Viewers are asked to share their place along side the very means of the presentation itself that presents the question: Can imagery merge with sculpture?
In this digital age of intangible media where the feel of holding a photograph between fingertips has been forgotten, Gurnz is able to capture and carry a story of a 2D photograph and thousand different ways. Gurnz’s art will continue to evolve for years to come as he ventures to new lengths to answer the rhetorical question of how do we best capture and view the world and beauty around us?