Peter Burega works in oil on panel. Mercurial by nature and obsessed with process, he turns out increasingly thoughtful, wildly expressive, and ultimately sophisticated paintings. He states, “Although my work is abstract, it develops from my experience and interaction with the land.” His work reflects moments taken from daily life, dreams, experiences, and visual impressions. Peter Burega’s paintings are studies of the environment – light, shadow, reflection – all influence his work.
Highly inspired by nature and the play of light on both water and land, Peter Burega invites every individual take their own message from his paintings. “Although I would like the viewer to experience the volume of motion and light that occurs in a piece, I still strive to have the them bring their own interpretation to the stories I tell about the places I have been,” explains Burega.
Peter Burega is self-taught. While living in Los Angeles working as an attorney he started painting after experiencing Mexican painter Victor Hugo Zayas’ work. Obsessed with the notions of abstract landscape and Zayas’ interpretation of abstract expressionism, Burega started on his path. He spent the first seven years learning who he was as a painter and went through a couple of developmental iterations of what he wanted his work to look like. Peter Burega’s surfaces have gotten very complicated and obsessive. Every painting now takes weeks of adding and scraping away hundreds of layers of paint. The technique has been all trial and error, but the subject matter has always stayed abstract, landscape and expressionist. He paints only with trowels, scrapers and knives, layering and building on the canvas or board to create the lush surface texture in his work. He seldom picks up a paintbrush except to finish or glaze a surface.
“I think that, as a person and as a painter, I truly follow my heart. If something comes along and it takes me in a new direction, I go in a new direction. I don’t paint the same thing year after year and over and over. Every place I go infuses me with new energy and gives me new insight into human nature.”