”Look at nature…how does it seduce you?”  I was immediately sold after hearing those words uttered by the Toronto-based artist Peter Triantos. We were sitting in a dark, trendy Orchard Street second-floor sushi restaurant and he was rasping an explanation of his increasingly buzzed about swirls and splotches that the ‘artsy-fartsy’ define as post-millennial-abstract-expressionism.

 

The Canadian contemporary artist is receiving burgeoning international acclaim for his dynamic, supremely visual abstract works whose signature use of vivid, free flowing forms command respect from his native Toronto to Shanghai and now New York City where the artist just debuted his first one-man show in the capital of

the world.

 

His art is, indeed, seductive in a truly supine and elegant way.  All those swirls and splotches–and yet seemingly managing to evoke the mind in such a spectacular fashion.  GW will now tell you that Peter Triantos as a future art star.

 

 

The supine (yes I love that word}  grace and organic flow of his splotches and swirls are so sinuous and expressive. His– is truly an original and commanding narrative.

 

”Nobody truly perceives abstract art in the same way, and my technique is to just let my sub-conscious flow to just free my mind, release all compunction and just let it flow.”

 

Peter Triantos is a bundle of nervous energy.  He speaks with the rasp of a gangster bit-extra from a vintage episode of the Sopranos. You know, like one of those guys who if you asked him to pronounce the word ”bouillabaisse”  would hoarse ”bullybatty” instead of ”Boo-yeh-bays”  This dude ain’t Quebecois.  That’s for sure.

He very much looks the part of the nerdy-hunky, steel-eyed Tony Soprano consigliere.. His toned  brawny torso glints with constant movement and hand gestures.  His hyper-active, over-enthused– clearly effervescent energy is very much in keeping with the uber-febrile personality trait which he overwhelmingly possesses.

And, of course, the most fascinating aspect of all this is to see how this man, this artist, translates all that is going on in his head to his wonderfully riotous canvases.

 

GEORGE WAYNE – The Peter Triantos canvases that GW requires as a must collectible and the best current art world investment would be the paintings from your ”Jelly Bean Series”.  I love the immediate emotional joy those paintings bring.  There an immediate Triantos signature work.  Talk about your jelly-bean paintings- as you have dubbed them.

PETER TRIANTOS –   This series here, the ”Jelly Bean Series” have been some of my best selling paintings.   That series all started one afternoon in my Toronto studio where I was working on three different canvases all at the same time….

 

GW-  Wait a minute!  Is that how you always work?  You work on more than one painting at  the same time? Is that the core to the Peter Triantos creative process?

PT- Yes I do.  I have multiple empty canvases lining my studio, some are hanging, some are not, and I sometimes move from one to the next.   But what I was imagining for this painting, as with all my paintings– is just not to think about it.  I just paint.  I am in my studio from around to 8am to 7pm at night.  People ask me how long it takes to create a piece of work.  And I always say it takes 56 years.  {The artist is 56-years-old}.

 

 

GW-  Then I look at the work you have dubbed ”The Napa Valley Series” and could immediately see why some naysaying critics of your work would scoff and say they look like very poor Jackson Pollock imitations.

PT- These are not drip paintings a-la-Pollock.  First of all I don’t drip the paint.  I throw it. I just throw the paint.  You’re right – I think my jelly bean paintings are also pretty powerful.

 

GW- Personally, I am not fond of your ”Napa Valley Series”.  Your strongest work emerges with your ”Jelly Bean Series” and your ”SP2”.

PT-  The corporations and big companies love the ”SP2 Series” of works. We do very well with those larger pieces.

 

GW- Those are gorgeous and original signature statements.  I see those work and I say — ”Aaah, that is a Triantos!”  And that is what every great artist wants from an audience which is to see the work and recognize immediately who the artist of the work is. Before we go any further — I also hear that you have anecdotes from your brief encounters with the (Meaghan) ”Markle Sparkle”!

PT-  She used to live on our street!  {Brandon Avenue -Toronto, Canada}.  A very, very nice, pleasant girl.   We used to see her all the time, a very sweet, very pretty girl. She lived a block away from my gallery/studio  in Toronto.  And then on top of all that, my canvases have featured in quite a few episodes of her hit TV show ‘Suits’– especially in season 6.

 

GW – Muse to GW about your creative process.  I know I have one. You know those quirky little things you do before starting the creative process.

PT-   I always say if you want to enjoy my paintings you cannot  hold any pre-conceived notions.  You just have to let loose. Just shed your skin and enjoy the art!  My studio is like my aquarium. I consider myself an artist as much as I am a businessman.  I love working and collaborating too with designers and architects and corporations and creating truly spectacular high-end investment art for hotels, corporate corner suites and private collectors across Europe and North America.

 

GW-  That is clearly a lucrative business.  Andy Warhol would have been impressed with that business strategy.  You just staged your first one-man show in New York City with a gallery I consider one of the leading post-millennial contemporary art galleries in North America– The Georges Berges Gallery on West Broadway in Soho.  What was that moment like? Your first solo exhibition in Manhattan?

PT- It was an incredible honor.  It took two years of cajoling and persisting with Georges Berges to take Peter Triantos on as one of this exclusive artists and I am happy he finally got around to his senses.  I am going to make him a lot of money. 

 

 

GW- You don’t lack for self-confidence– that much can be said Peter Triantos.

PT- I never give up.  My ultimate goal is to always seduce you with my art.

 

GW- Talk about what you were like as a 12-year-old growing up in Canada. A first generation Canadian from a family of Greek immigrants?

PT- To do in life what you really love and want to do is a rare thing.  I feel blessed everyday that I get to do what I love doing.  

 

GW- Were you a hyper-active kid?

PT-  I don’t know where or when that happened.  My brothers are really calm but I have always been active.  My family came from off the boat from the mountains of Greece. My mother and father and their three boys arrived to Canada as refugees, immigrants from Romiri in the mountains of Greece.  We were immigrants from Greece to Canada in 1966 and arriving to Canada via Halifax, Nova Scotia by boat!  I was five-years-old!   We got to Canada and they gave us a bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a comb– I remember it so well. I never even saw candy living in those Greek mountains!  And here we were now in a new country half way around the world.  We were Greek peasants arriving to Canada.

 

GW- Wow!  That is an amazing story.  And now today you are a increasingly famous and prolific Canadian art star. Your work has to be your play or you will never be happy with your life–is what I always like to say.

PT- Money is not important.  It is enjoying what you do with your work and your life. I tell young people all the time.  You strive to please no one but yourself first and foremost.

 

GW- And like Andy Warhol who also famously said. ”Do something you love doing and sooner or later you will be able to sell it”.  That has always been my mantra.

PT- And to think, I never finished high school.  I quit high school in Grade 9 and I never went back.  I’m a high school drop-out.  It is probably the best thing I ever did.

 

GW- Unbelievable!  A high-school dropout!  So how did you make a living before your art?

PT- I was a carpenter for many  years, building homes.  But before I was a high-school drop-out that was where the art bug hit me and where I first realized what I wanted to do with my life.  I knew instantly the first time I was in middle school doodling and playing with paint and colors in early art classes.   I remember that day as if it was yesterday.  I was immediately riveted. From that day on no teacher could tell me what I ought to do with my life.  I knew it. I never finished high school but I always knew what I would be one day — an artist.

 

 

GW- Tell me more — this method to your brilliant madness?

PT- Starting on a new piece is super=exciting for me.  Although I sometimes have a pre-conceived notion of creating something unique and exciting, ultimately the process creates its own flow, it’s own energy.  And once the work is done and seeing how that dynamic evokes every emotional chord imaginable is the best part about my job.  Art moves us all in very different ways and that for me is always the most fascinating aspect of what I do.

 

Scroll and view the work yourself. Peter Triantos — www.instagram.com/petertriantos and www.petertriantos.com

 

 

 

 

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