Pekoc, Chris

Christopher Pekoc

Chris Pekoc studied painting and drawing at Kent State University, but considers himself self-taught. He says: “I am not a traditional photographer. For me, capturing the photographic image is only the beginning of a long and complex process that allow me to uniquely shape each of my pictures, guided by imagination, intuition and emotion.”
He has evolved from using photographs to aid him with his portraits and landscape drawings. Later, collage became a starting point in his paintings--his studio filled with magazine clippings that provided imagery from the recognizable barrage of every day’s visual onslaught. In the 70s, these collaged studies became airbrush paintings, in the 80s they became large pastels.

The inventory of image fragments included images from photographs of people whom he knew. Interaction with human presence stimulates his creative effort much differently than the clippings of inanimate objects from magazines. The specific choices made among the images relies on his sense of aesthetic balance and intuitive symbolism
that results in a complex message for the viewer. The process includes shellacking the surface before assembling the pieces that achieves an overall effect of a beautiful old manuscript. The message of the additionally scratched surface may be ominous and evocative. Just like human life itself—imperfect and fragmented– and scarred.

Today many artists use only computer-generated images. Chris Pekoc’s work has come full circle—from using photographs to making the photograph the work of art itself. The fact that the images are not computer generated keeps his hand in the process—for him the important connection with the material.


Night Sky, Cleveland 1978, Cleveland Public Library Brett Reading Room