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Vortex of Despair by Denis-Peterson Vortex of Despair by Denis-Peterson
Acrylic on stretched canvas
3.5'x5.5' (Panel 1 of diptych)

I met the subject of this painting in NYC and after a brief discussion, obtained his cooperation to stand back against the marble wall for a photo.

As I took the shot, he quickly pulled the bottle out of a bag and flashed it for me. The girl was unaware any of this was going on and helped to make it a complete composition of ironic anomalies. My original shot had him from head to foot, including his plastic wrappings, and I am looking to add a second 3 1/2'x5 1/2' panel depicting that down the road.


Not yet varnished, which should bring out the darks much more vividly. This piece presented a number of disparate challenges to paint.

The lighting is from several sources, and the window reflections posed additional stumbling blocks to overcome. Aside from interior and exterior figures, it is perhaps the most complex piece I have done with various surface textures: newspapers, glass, chrome, plastics, marble, granite, cloth, stone, metals, etc. multiple perspectives, reflections, lighting sources, depths of field, all in one composition.

Interestingly, my son has seen this fellow near where he works in the city and my daughter had photographed him twelve years ago, vividly recalling his distinctive garb and dark makeup.

Another tribute to humanity for The Wall series, and perhaps a lighter side to it as well.

Chris Rywalt, NYC Art – Show Review and Interview

“Maybe we need people who can remind us what being human is all about, its best and its worst. Denis Peterson may not want to be one of those people. But then he may not have a choice."
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-04-03
A person gets commended for many things in life, usually artwork, but sometimes the artwork crosses the line and brings forth the social issues of today's society. Denis is a man who should be commended for bringing to attention the issues such as genocide and homelessness. In his work no detail is accidental, and usually he goes through great lengths to get to know his subjects, their story and bring it to life through his paintings. Vortex of Despair by `Denis-Peterson is a work where no detail is accidental, everything is meticulously planned and executed. It is a work of many contrasts primarily of ones of social kind. It is a work that makes us have good hard look at ourselves, and evaluate ourselves whilst being faced by the subject, which makes us wonder which is real, the illusion of wealth of society we live in, or hitting the rock bottom. ( Suggested by Yamenja and Featured by SandraPelly )
:iconsiolan:
Siolan Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017
Twelve years ago? Still alive? Seriously?...
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2017
Saw him recently, and doing well .. thankfully
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:iconsiolan:
Siolan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2017
Ow man, I cannot begin to understand how it can be, well...
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:iconkaischuebeck:
KaiSchuebeck Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017
Wow ! Another great piece of your art.
The texture of the wall is awsome. Even the crushed paper the guy is wrapped in makes me speechless.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017
Thanks Kai, there was a lot to work with here, .. happily, it all worked out.
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:iconwinnertown:
WinnerTown Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
call do you tell me about your drawing by ballpoint pens?
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner May 24, 2015
Ballpoint pens? I don't use them, sorry.
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:iconbotasu-orichumo:
BOTASU-Orichumo Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student General Artist
a little question, you still own the painting or it is on a private collection?
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Vortex has never been offered for sale and remains in artist collection.
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:iconbotasu-orichumo:
BOTASU-Orichumo Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student General Artist
thanks !
Reply
:iconelyesman:
elyesman Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WHAT ???  this is a painting you did along the others???? OMG i didn't even notice until i read this description  too awsome, no wait awesome is not enough, omg really,  dude you must not stop :O
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
Thanks very much, glad to hear you like it!
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:iconazatyeman:
azatyeman Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Professional Artist
very good
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
thank you
Reply
:iconbluswam:
BluSwam Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012   Traditional Artist
Beautifull artwork Denis, love your work.
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012
Thank you very much Zabier, I appreciate it.
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:icongladly:
gladly Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
The girl on the right really completes this photo.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012
It's a painting {albeit, of a photo I took} And thanks, agreed, she was there at just the right time.
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:iconfractalhead:
fractalhead Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
as always...marvellous work
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012
as always...thanks much
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:iconfractalhead:
fractalhead Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012
my pleasure
Reply
:iconartcoll8tor:
ARTcoll8TOR Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011
Seriously are you the real Denis Peterson?????
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011
Could be, but if I told you, you wouldn't believe it anyway! :dygel:
Reply
:iconcatigo:
catigo Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2010
Fantastic work...Always a pleasure to view! Just wondering if you project your images, grid, or use another technique to get the hyper-real product?
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
Thanks very much, projections seem to afford more flexibility to make subtle changes while airbrushing, as does using drawing media to first define some of the details.
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:iconinks-n-needles:
inks-n-needles Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010
i take a lot away from this thank you your skill is amazing and motivating
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2010
Quite glad to hear that you do, thank you very much
Reply
:iconlava247:
lava247 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010
Wow excellent painting :jawdrop:I’m even more impressed because I have also run into this same man a couple times a few years back in New York. The outfit was a little different as he had several wads of old crumpled newspaper stuffed and partially exposed in a worn bomber jacket. He seemed a bit intimidating at first with his ranting and mild badgering of random pedestrians however, the times he wasn’t putting on a show he seemed passive and alert, almost child-like. It truly amazing that you got him to be your subject for this amazing work of art. :clap:
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010
Thanks very much, your memorable observations of the subject are quite astute, :slow: and in line with my impressions at the time. Similarly, several other artists have let me know when they have run into him over the past few years ... usually they have been initially shocked to see someone from one of my paintings they have commented on! Even more oddly, my daughter had independently shot a picture of him several years ago, and looking much the same...some things never change :hexentanz:
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:iconlava247:
lava247 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010
:D I would love to see the photo your daughter took, is it online anywhere for public viewing?
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010
I will ask her if she still has it and can scan it in.
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:iconlava247:
lava247 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2010
Wow that would be great :) if she finds it I look forward to seeing it!
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:iconcarlmoore:
CarlMoore Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009
Aah! Here it is, I was looking for this painting all morning. I wanted to show it to my girl friend, but she's gone home now, so I'll have to show it to her later. :P I dragged her enthusiastically to the Plus One gallery to show her some hyperrealism art. She didn't share my enthusiasm though, and was more interested in the bloody dogs at the gallery. :P
This piece has grown on me quite a lot. I really enjoy the contrast with the homeless guy and the woman inside the restaurant. The reflections on the glass are blooming awesome. There is so much I like about this painting.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009
Actually, I had thinned out my gallery, removing all the genocide paintings and some of these too...

and I love painting these the most, they continually get so much attention on the web .. but alas the market for these among the collectors does not seem to be there, not yet anyway.

Thanks Carl, Vortex remains among my favorites, and perhaps Dust to Dust, no longer here, but still on my website. I agree with your girlfriend, the gallery dogs are a trip :slow:
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:iconzueqsalev:
zueqsalev Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2009
Denis Peterson = OnceinalifetimeArtist
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Wow, thanks! :hexentanz:
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:iconlesleyabinks:
LesleyABinks Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
your gallery is amazing, its makes me long to see the real pieces of work. Have you ever exhibited in England?
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
Thanks very much Leslie, yes in fact I exhibited in London this past year and plan to again this coming season if time allows. And a warm welcome to dA..

Cheers
Reply
:iconlesleyabinks:
LesleyABinks Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
thats great news, please could you let me know the dates if you do, and which gallery and I,ll hop on the train to London...

Thankyou
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
sure thing! :hexentanz:
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:iconmangabaka:
Mangabaka Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible textures, and in fact and incredible man. I feel touched.
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009
Thanks very much, if it touches you then it is doing what it was designed to do...great news there.. thanks again.
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:iconcerino:
Cerino Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2009
this is a 20 star work of art..... one question.... Is he drinkin pee?!
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
thanks very much, no I don't think so, just my color range. btw that wild rose may as well be, it is made to take advantage of the downtrodden, from what I have read, you could use it to take down a car finish if you ran out of compound..
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:iconcerino:
Cerino Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2009
lmao, that's sad!!!
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:iconmariynart:
MariynART Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008
Thanks
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:iconmariynart:
MariynART Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2008
(Sorry for the bad english)
You are great, i love your paintings, and i love hyperrealism. I want to ask you how do you make the effect of hyperrealism and i'm a beginer can you please give me some advices :)
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008
If you are a beginner, the most important thing is to get your drawing skills down before anything else, in my opinion. I would recommend getting an old used copy of the natural way to draw by kimon nicholaides... it will go a long way toward any form of realism
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:iconvivienne-mercier:
Vivienne-Mercier Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
What I like best is the plastic bag on the table in front of the woman. It's like a before-and-after shot of what will happen to the bag when she's done using it. :D
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2008
How true, and such a good observation! I hadn't really given any thought to that before you pointed it out, it's quite ironic.
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Submitted on
July 28, 2007
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