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Peter Opheim


The bright, biomorphic forms in Peter Opheim’s paintings are both playful and nightmarish. Opheim is interested in the fears and fantasies of childhood and how we are shaped by our earliest experiences, yet his cartoonish Neo-Pop imagery also suggests hidden desires and adult anxieties. Opheim began his career as an abstract painter and was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1995. He later moved away from abstraction to build the world of soft, cutesy characters he is known for today. Opheim begins each piece by modeling his globular characters with clay and then translating them into two dimensions in large-scale oil paintings. He frequently exhibits the maquettes alongside the finished images. In 2017, Opheim was awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship for sculpture. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.