Peter Phobia, “No Cigarettes, No Sleep” Solo Show at Gallery Hilger NEXT / Project Room Preview

Recently, our editor, Crist Espiritu had the opportunity to interview artist Peter Phobia where they discuss his personal story, process and art. Since then, we have been keeping in constant communication, following where he’s at in his artistic level.

Tomorrow, Peter will be having a show at the Hilger NEXT Project Room titled “No Cigarettes, No Sleep”. According to the show’s text by Pedro Henrique de Melo, the works might be “interpreted as homage to the coastal American life” but rather “in reality a work of discreet subversion that invites, or rather cajoles the audience to reflect on how certain fragments of American culture are imported to and consumed by the rest of the world without proper reflection or adaptation.”

We had an opportunity to distract Peter from getting ready for the show and asked him a few questions to get his viewpoint about his show. Read on.

Interview by Mark Changco.
Art by Peter Phobia.

What’s the story behind your show’s title, NO CIGARETTES, NO SLEEP. How did you come up with the concept behind it?

The title derives from a song I stumbled upon a while ago. It’s called ‘The Air That I Breathe’ by the 60’s pop group The Hollies. The singer talks about being totally satisfied and in peace with the world due to having found his love and therefore not needing anything else in life. The lyrics are super cheesy and I’m not even sure if I like the song, yet I was interested in the concept of satisfaction depicted in it. In these modern times we live in, everyone is constantly chasing their dreams, trying to improve and wanting more – nobody seems to be satisfied. Maybe it’s just a totally human feature and I’m definitely not judging that, especially with myself as an artist being part of phenomenon. Nevertheless, with my work I’d like create a starting point for the audience to consciously reflect on these facts of everyday’s lives.

What’s the significant difference between this show and your last one?

My last show ‘THE FALSE STORIES I TELL MYSELF’ which I had in September of 2016 in Liechtenstein is conceptually, as well as aesthetically closely tied together with the current one. Actually, I see both shows as one big body of work dealing with similar topics. Yet I have the feeling, even though my work is often ambiguous, that the pieces in ‘NO CIGARETTES, NO SLEEP’ are more distinct.

Lost & Found

What is your favorite piece from this show? Why?

My favorite piece is ‘Lost & Found’. It’s one of the two 60″ x 80” charcoal & acrylic drawings. It’s a collage of drawn elements and the main part shows a portrait of a cat which gazes at the viewer. In a caption underneath it says: ‘Lost & Found. Pussy Grabs Back’. I believe the creative world plays a fundamental part to a more open-minded, politically aware and flourishing society and therefore I deeply felt and still feel the need to comment on what is going on in world politics – sometimes in a more direct and other times in a more subtle way.

No Cigarettes, No Sleep” will be opening January 26, 2017 at 7PM.

Gallery Hilger NEXT
Absberggasse 27
1100 Vienna, Austria
+43 1 5125315200

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