The 4th Biennial Sculpture Exhibition displays the work of 7 artists, one of whom is John Petrey. His blue Rhinoceros is the first in a series of giant pull toys the artist is currently working on. His last series of dresses made from found objects can be seen in various locations, including one in front of Create Here on Main Street in Chattanooga.
The above photograph of Petrey in his studio comes from an article which appeared in American Style Magazine in 2009 called, “Portfolio of Pearls and Pollyanna Days.”
Petrey relocated to Chattanooga through the Arts Move Program in 2006. Before deciding to work as an artist, he spent 24 years in the advertising business working for “fortune 100 companies” and specialized in photographing food dishes.
Educated at the prestigious Brook’s Institute in Santa Barbara, Petrey is also schooled in graphic design and brings his background in advertising to his artwork.
Here’s an excerpt from an article written about Petrey at Knoxville News Sentinel website:
While moving about his studio, we’ve ignored the white rhinoceros in the room. The life-size, powerful-looking form portends the next step in his artistic experimentation. He’s leaping boldly into public art.
“I love to work big. I’m working bigger and bigger,” says Petrey. “The rhino is going to be a child’s giant pull toy. He will be on a platform with big, rusty steel wheels, and he will have a huge rope tied around his neck that will coil on the ground right in front of him,” Petrey explains. Now naked, the sculpture will be clad in metal, probably textural copper.
Here’s an article published at the Chattanoogan about the 4th Biennial Exhibition.
Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
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