Matthew J. Peake is the rare contemporary artist who has found a completely new take on portraiture. Peake paints his figures from above: he uses a geometrically perfect birds’-eye view that portrays people from a mere few feet above their heads. This perspective is paradoxically distancing – no faces are visible, yet, at such close range, these portraits can’t help but be intimate. Adding to their liveliness, Peake applies paint in small pieces of color in a technique that he likens to mosaic-making.
In oil or pastel, Peake depicts everyday scenes with energy, finding infinite variations on walking, sitting, and speaking groups of people. He shows us what we look like from an angle that possibly no one has ever seen before. Peake also draws heavily on his experience with dance and travel to depict moving, changing formations of figures. He mounts his oil paintings on a “RoFrame” that allows the viewer to rotate the piece, exploring its new mood and meaning in every angle.
For 27 years, Matthew J. Peake worked as a physician, a vocation which taught him a great deal about the human form as well as personal relationships and behaviors. Peake lives in Vermont, where he is an art instructor and full-time artist.