Troy is known as the Mod Man in Asheville. Since leaving his 60’s contemporary home overlooking the Columbia River in the northwest 8 years ago he has been scouting out hints of...
Artist George Peterson seems to have skated his way into Asheville and taken over Biltmore Ave one venue at a time. I stopped in to attend his opening at Blue Spiral 1 this month to give him my support. Earlier this year I slipped off to Brevard to finally meet with him. It had been a year since I stumbled upon his work at Wicked Weed and I was an immediate fan. I witnessed several skateboards mounted in a row that had been cut, burned, scarred and painted as tribal art. The iconic, pop culture shapes had been put through destruction and rebirth giving them an immediate and powerful new story that holds my attention even today.
George’s studio occupies a mid-century, church building in the Arts District of Brevard. The sanctuary has been built out as a skate boarding and performance venue while the adjacent rooms are filled with his equipment and materials. He calls himself a “working class” artist and dedicates himself from 8 to 5 daily on his craft there.
George is self-taught. His influences are Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash, Finn Juhl, Bob Stocksdale, tribal art and punk rock. The combination of influences from 100-year-old tribal art, 80’s California to the Western North Carolina mountains and interior fashion today make them from a time period and world all of their own. His graphic and rhythmic twist to classic wood-turning gives his pieces a rawness and vulnerability that evoke history and narrative. For me, it takes an intuitive hand to craft something that offers subtle complexity masked by simplicity. In George’s hands, Punk is reinvented and becomes a timeless and sophisticated art form.
Make sure you stop in Blue Spiral 1 this month and see his work on the lower level. Better yet scoot down to Brevard and tour his studio during the week. If not, click here.