The suit jacket – a symbol of male power and authority – is the topic of Andre Petterson’s latest paintings, showing this fall at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. Interestingly, the work takes as its jumping-off point politically charged graffiti Petterson saw on stately buildings in Buenos Aires earlier this year. The visual contradiction seemed a metaphor for the rift between Argentina’s working class masses and the conservative elite.
“Everything was spray painted,” says Petterson. “And I’m not talking street art, I’m talking vandalism. Just rampant spray cans on marble facades, windows and cars. It was just everywhere. It sort of got to me. The people seemed so unhappy.” Petterson takes a similar approach with his mixed-media paintings, using bold colours, smeared paint, drips, spatters and the like. He photographs the paintings, and then paints atop the print, blurring the boundary between painting and photography.