Esso Extra, 2019, Watercolor, Courtesy of the Artist.
Hear from the Artist
Hi, my name is Peter Hussey, and the work I am exhibiting in the Newport Biennial exhibit is called Esso Gas.
My paintings typically focus on interesting buildings I’ve discovered while cycling throughout New England. I am most often drawn to simple, but unique structures where the intersection of different surfaces—metal, shingles, wood, clapboards, when embellished by dramatic shadows—make for a compelling abstract design.
Owing to their particular character or surroundings, sometimes the same structures call on me to stand back, open my perspective and include the attendant surroundings. This might be a copse of trees, an abandoned tractor, a weathervane, a vertiginous background, a fence line or passing roadway—all the things that help to tell a more complete story.
Because the old homes, barns and back buildings I seek out are most often white or a weathered gray, I am increasingly drawn to ways in which i can bring more color into my paintings. I have achieved this in myriad ways. I’ve been bold enough to render my subjects in a different color. I’ve relocated them next to water. And in one of my favorite techniques, I’ve covered them in wisteria.In the case of my Biennial entry, Esso Gas, I’ve used a lovingly restored pistachio green pick up truck—which is architectural in its own right—to bring its dingy garage surroundings to life. The gas pump is meant to enhance the effect. Using close perspective, my intent has again been to push the image toward abstraction.