Born in London and currently living and working in Sweden, figural artist Peter Sherman gives us glimpses of modern-day life that are mercurial to most eyes. Yet under Sherman’s skilled hand, these moments are transformed into something quite stunning when captured in the choreography of dance. Through figures characterized by sharp body angles and taut musculature that twist and turn in unlikely poses, he finds form in short moments of motion that convey the richness of expression in everyday feelings through the symbolism of dance. Sherman’s forms and compositional configurations are rendered more dramatic by his skillful use of light and shadow, which effectively highlights the strength and serenity of the dancers’ bodies but also underscores the emotion that lies within. This juxtaposition places an emphasis on both the grace of movement and its underlying tension, which adds a certain edge to the overall effect.
My paintings show glimpses of modern day life that are beautiful when captured by dance choreography. Finding form in short moments of movement in unusual situations or people in motion is a main theme in my work. The symbolism expressed in dance is captured in many of my paintings. My compositions are usually figurative in acrylic or oil and sometimes a combination of the two. I am fascinated by the play of light and often express this by using a few colours and scene lighting effects to highlight the strength and serenity of the dancers’ bodies. Contemporary dance has given us a whole new vocabulary of movements that express human emotions. For me, being able to see the richness of expression in every day feelings, conveyed by “frame by frame” body movements where limbs, muscles, shadow and light represent a balanced whole, is key to my work.