In Conversation With: Peter Smets

Skilfully rendering often-overlooked sites of construction, Peter Smets finds beauty in the stages in-between.

Sum up your practice in a single sentence. 

I paint many different subjects from seascapes and landscapes to still lifes and portraits, but for the last 15 years I have been painting a series focussing on men at work.

When and how did you first fall in love with art? 

Since I was a child I have always been interested in art so it was natural for me to choose to become an artist and I developed my skills further by studying painting by the Old Masters. Today I am very dedicated to my practice, I have to be creative everyday.

What is it about men at work that fascinated you?

The story behind my series of paintings about men at work really comes from the tools of construction. They are works of art in themselves. Construction sites have always intrigued me – one day there will be nothing, the next a large building. Or at least that’s how fast it appears to outsiders. We are all curious about what the building is going to look like when it’s finished. But for me it is what happens during the construction stage, all the tools and equipment they use are fascinating to me and give me endless inspiration. 

What have you been working on recently? 

I am currently working on a series for my upcoming exhibition IN THE SHADOW which will show in June 2021 at Anthea Polson Art Gallery, Queensland.

Peter is represented by Anthea Polson Gallery, Main Beach, Queensland.

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