Artist Peter Triantos | The Quintessential Quest For Colors And Passion Beyond Borders
A spectacular weekend in June in Toronto created the perfect canvas for my meet and greet with artist Peter Triantos, a moment in time that would become an extremely inspiring and emotionally charged encounter. Way beyond his skilled approach to colors, the very prolific artist is a super-human with unmatched energy and buoyant passion, someone you would expect to see on stage giving a TED-talk on the power of happiness, inner fulfillment and therapy through colors: Passion is my fuel, he tells me. People may think you need food to function. For me is about a constant flow of energy. I feel the joy of creating with every fiber of my body and am constantly driven by passion, desire to create. I don’t ever stop painting and love working on multiple canvases at the same time…
I became acquainted with Peter’s work following a discussion with ground-breaking gallerist Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim, the owner of HG Contemporary in New York who represented him at the Auckland Art Fair in New Zealand. He enthusiastically spoke about Peter’s craft, and I was instantaneously drawn to the state of well-being his art exudes and the eclectic spectrum of emotions it generates through breathtaking brush strokes of abstract expressionism. It seems as though the emotions are layering on top of each other the same way his colors do: intense and joyful, unequivocally thought-provoking and relentlessly mind-blowing.
The tour of his three galleries and studio has been arranged by his beautiful wife Seraphina, reminiscent herself of a work of art. If Botticelli would have painted Asian women they would have looked just like her, and her wonderful personality immediately facilitated our special interaction rather evocative of a longtime friendship.
If the first gallery comes across as a tribute to happiness, the second suggests almost an intimate trip to a futuristic Paradise where multiple senses are engaged through colors and diffusive music that beautifully compliments the art. It’s quite obvious that the artist has a penchant for vibrant colors and creating art that can be easily perceived as therapy of the senses. At that point, my heart was already captivated as much as my eyes and a quote from Little Prince came to mind: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
On our way to Peter’s studio, I catch a glimpse of the overly charming Toronto, and I am quite enchanted. The space itself is divine: it’s Art, Art, Art. Large paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. An avid collector himself Peter owns beautiful pieces by Picasso, Dali, Miró, sculptures from the XVIII century…His personality is larger than life, and we connect immediately; not sure if it is our Balcanic heritage that brings us so close together or the fact that he has an immense love and sense of appreciation for people.
His humble roots, arriving in Canada at the age of five with his family all the way from Greece didn’t stop him from following his dreams. I don’t believe we are born to be artists. We discover our passion in time and then further cultivate it. It’s a progression. It’s work and resilience. And loads and loads of passion…I was not trained to become an artist, I saw a friend of mine drawing and I was so captivated that I started to emulate what he was doing. Suddenly the soul of an artist emerged, and I found myself creating non-stop. I am self-taught and I feel lucky that we have nature has an inspiration. Us artists, we are tricksters, we steal from nature… Are you a thief? I jokingly say and then he turns to me smiling: I feel like a papagallo, I look at nature and then recreate it…This is why people love my Napa Valley collection so much: they can identify symbols from nature, the birds, the vivid colors and can relate to them because these are recognizable elements. Sometimes when people look at art they think energy comes out of it and reflects on you. It’s actually quite the opposite: the energy draws you in in a mysterious way. I believe the power of art is being underestimated. Is it because of the highly mediatized aspect of consumerism? I ask. Yes, absolutely. People should buy art that brings them true happiness, not invests in trends. Art is therapy, happiness therapy…
His Jelly Bean-collection found homes all over the world, in private homes and commercial spaces. He collaborates with architects and interior designers and does lots of commissioned work. No matter how busy he is, he often makes time to do a quick installation of his art in clients’ home because it makes him happy to see their joy: My art is a thank you note to the people I love and that includes my clients of course.
A beautiful and generous soul he is equally excited about life and love: My wife is the best thing in my life, he tells me. I fell in love with her as soon as I laid eyes on her. Aside from being very supportive, she has an astute business sense. The first day she started working at the gallery she sold all the paintings there. They look at each other in awe, and I remark that they are a modern version of Gala and Dali. Inspiring and loving each other just like in a fairy tale.
His other love: four kittens that he found in a garage on the verge of death. He takes me to see them and four pairs of tiny eyes are staring at me. As soon as he opens the little gate they start jumping around and climbing the sculptures. Is it okay that they climb these art pieces? Absolutely. I love them, they can do as they please. You can tell how amazing people are by how happy their animals are.
2018 has been a great year for him featuring among many exciting events a May opening at the Infinito Gallery in Tribeca in New York where he created a painting in only seven minutes and a half on the sound of an orchestra under the direction of brilliant young conductor Jonathan Bingham. The art has been auctioned off to benefit Sidney Kimmel Cancer Centre at Thomas Jefferson University. A passionate philanthropist he frequently donates his artwork to Baycrest Brain Project, Brain Matters Charity, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Gold Medal Plates Olympic Foundation among others. The Art Fair in Auckland New Zealand on May 23rd-27th 2018 cemented his collaboration with HG Contemporary and on June 12th-17th he participated to Scope International Contemporary Art Basel.
This is just the beginning of a major artistic journey full of optimism and magic. As one of his artworks says: If it was a magic blackboard to do as you wish… What truly makes Peter Triantos a great artist goes way beyond his talent. It’s his humanity, amazing spirit and humble attitude toward his talent: I don’t feel like it’s me who created this, it’s like someone else is painting with my hand and speaking through me.
As I am getting ready to say goodbye my heart feels full: the mesmerizing art, the joyful kittens and Peter and Seraphina left a beautiful mark on my heart…and as I wave goodbye Lenny Kravitz’s song Again comes to mind: I wonder when I will I see you again and I shall hope it will be rather very soon…