Peter Halley - White Prison
Acrylic and Roll-A-Tex on two adjoined canvases. 121 x 112 cm. Signed and dated 'Halley Halley 2003' on canvas verso. - Minor traces of age.
" […] It started with the prisons. And then I began to think about prisons being connected to each other. And then I began to think that prisons were maybe a bit 19th century, and that I should get rid of the windows…so they became cells. And so it's been prisons and cells, connected by conduits, ever since then. I do feel that each painting is both autobiographical and a view of the external world; each painting is both a self-portrait and a landscape at the same time. […]
I grew up in New York, and when I came back to live here in New York in 1980 after finishing my MFA at the University of New Orleans, I moved into a loft on East 7th street. Living alone in New York, I felt like I was in some kind of prison; it was an isolating experience. I didn't know many people and it was difficult psychologically. So I began to think of the prison cell as an analogy for urban life. The breakthrough was discovering how I was connected electronically - like when I picked up the phone or turned on the radio or something.
I've been saying this for a long time, but I think sitting in front of a computer is a prison. You're really tied to this thing. And I do think it isolates people - you're stuck looking at Facebook or some financial application or whatever your obsession is. The story behind my work is that I believe that people have become more and more physically isolated, and more and more dependent on electronic communication to connect."
(Peter Halley, In the Studio with Painter Peter Halley, Interview by Alexandre Stipanovich with Kathy Grayson and Jeremy Liebman, Opening Ceremony New News, April 15, 2013, homepage Peter Halley, https://www.peterhalley.com/interview-with-alexandre-stipanovich)
With a signed photo-certificate by the artist, New York, dated July 2003.
We would like to thank Peter Halley Studio, New York, for helpful information.
Galerie Xippas, Athens; private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia