Cleon Peterson (American, born 1973) is a contemporary artist whose instantly recognizable Greco-Roman style has led him to critical acclaim around the world.
His abstract work can get graphic and gory, but Peterson is unapologetic: “I’m not an advocate for violence, but I am an advocate for people being un-apathetic in the world today. … There’s some f**ked up sh*t out there, and it’s better to talk about it and confront it than to just ignore it.”
Peterson is represented by Over the Influence, a Los Angeles gallery that also represents prominent street artists including Invader, Shepard Fairey and Parra. He has had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Galerie Du Jour in Paris and Over the Influence in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
“A Perfect Trade” is an acrylic on canvas work that is not for the faint-hearted. It features Peterson’s traditional aesthetic of classically inspired bloodshed imposed onto a landscape. In the foreground, a man holds the head of a decapitated rival at his feet, illustrating what one must do to get ahead in a world where the ruthless are rewarded. The work was featured in the artist’s series Landscapes originally shown at Over the Influence, LA.