Peter studied art at Croydon College of Art and Hampstead School of Art in London, and at West Dean College in Sussex, England. For many years he worked internationally as an award-winning film editor, on features, documentaries, and commercials. He now lives and works on the East End of Long Island, NY, and paints full time.
One consequence of developing story-telling skills during his career in film is that many of his paintings are instilled with a narrative element. His work utilizes precise composition, along with choice and intensity of color, to lead the observer towards new insights into the familiar.
Peter's work is generally described as realist, but his paintings often contain elements of the surreal. By removing many incidental and unnecessary details from everyday settings the content is distilled into a pure, intense, and subliminally unsettling depiction.
His paintings have been exhibited on Long Island at the Quogue Gallery and the Quogue Library, in juried shows at East End Arts gallery in Riverhead, and at the Southampton Cultural Center. In the fall of 2014 East End Arts presented his work in a solo exhibition at the Rosalie Dimon Gallery in Jamesport.
In July of 2015 he had a solo exhibition at Remsenburg Academy, entitled Daylight & Darkness. The paintings in this show explored the relationships and intersections between the natural and man-made worlds, and how light and the absence of light can evoke emotions and ideas that run counter to conventional expectations.
In June of 2017 East End Arts and Peconic Landing presented Peter’s series of genre paintings in an exhibition entitled Palm Beach Stories, in the auditorium at Peconic Landing, Greenport, NY. This series of paintings, each three-foot-six high by six feet wide, is set in the sub-topical environment of southern Florida, and draws on the artist’s long career in film and his love of movies.
Each painting evokes a different movie genre and contains narrative threads that reflect elements of that genre. The images visit the worlds of the crime thriller, science fiction, romance, disaster, and black comedy.
The pictures explore the subjects of anger and violence, the clash between the man-made and natural worlds, the complexity of desire and the imagined ideal, the fragility and vulnerability of our environment, and the ongoing conflict between urban development and native wildlife. While using these subjects as starting points, the stories within each painting can be re-interpreted as often as there are viewers to observe them.
In 2018, Peter’s painting Abrasha in Port-au-Prince, was selected for in inclusion in the Long Island Biennial Exhibition, which is presented by the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY. A record three hundred and fifty one entries were received from artists all over Long Island, and fifty- two were accepted. Of those fifty-two, six were given a special Award of Merit by the museum. Peter’s entry was one of the six selected.
In April of 2019 Peter has a solo exhibition, curated by gallerist Peter Marcelle, opening at MM Fine Art gallery, Southampton, NY. This exhibition will premiere Peter’s newest painting, The Art of Conflict (48x96” oil on canvas), which explores relationships between human conflict and art.
Peter's paintings are in private collections in New York City, on Long Island, in Florida, New York, Rhode Island, Toronto Ontario, and London England.
His work is represented on the North Fork of Long Island by William Ris Gallery, Jamesport, New York.
To read ALIX COHEN's article about Peter and his work click here.
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
2019 April 27 - Opening reception of Peter’s solo exhibition MOMENTS/STORIES at MM Fine Art Gallery in Southampton, NY. The exhibition runs for three weeks to May 19th 2019 – 2018 August 4 to November 11 - Abrasha in Port-au-Prince selected for inclusion in the 2018 Long Island Biennial juried exhibition at the Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY. Peter is given the museum’s Award of Merit for his entry. This award was given to six artists out of the fifty-two whose works were accepted for inclusion in the exhibition – 2018 April 27 to June 8 - Phyllis and Pauline Having Fun at the Pomme d'Or selected for inclusion in the East End Arts juried exhibition "Here Comes the Sun" (juror: Charles Riley II) – 2018 March 9 to April 6 - House of Dreams selected for inclusion in the East End Arts juried exhibition "Cannabis" (juror: Mary Cantone) – 2017 June 2 to September 29 - Peconic Landing Auditorium, Greenport, NY: Palm Beach Stories, genre paintings by Peter Beston – 2017 Moonlight on the Ibis selected for inclusion in the East End Arts juried exhibition "Illustration & Fashion" (juror: Bil Donovan) – 2017 Indigo Buntings Consider the Meaning of Wallpaper awarded First Place at East End Arts juried exhibition "Texture" (juror: George Billis) – 2016 Deep Impact exhibited at the Quogue Gallery, Quogue NY – 2016 exhibited in the group show East End Realists: paintings by nine distinguished contemporary artists at the Southampton Cultural Center, Southampton, NY – 2015 The Birthday Dress selected for East And Arts National Juried Competition, The Figure – 2015 Remsenburg Academy, Remsenburg NY: Daylight & Darkness, paintings by Peter Beston – 2014 Rosalie Dimon Gallery, Jamesport NY: East End Arts presents paintings by Peter Beston – 2014 Plein Air Artist in Residence, Westhampton Beach NY, House & Garden Tour – 2014 Quogue Library Gallery, Quogue NY: Tray Jolie, an Exhibit of Tray Art by East End Artists – 2013 Jamesport Vineyards, Jamesport NY: East End Arts Members Showcase – 2013 Guildhall of East Hampton, NY: Artist Members Exhibition – 2011 Quogue Library Gallery, Quogue NY: A Special Salute to East Quogue Artists
SITE PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS
Most of the superb photographs of the paintings on this site were made by Robert Moore, moorevisualservices.com.
Other photographs were supplied by Vito Gentile and Peter Beston.