Peter is not a fan of having people in his photos! He prefers creating timeless little works of art, “portraying” usually empty streets, architecture and homes or objects. At first you might be charmed by that strange melancholy his photography evokes but soon you can also discover a dreamlike sensation that you want to hold on forever.
KALTBLUT: Why do you choose to photograph spaces void of people?
Peter: I wait until people are out of the view because it helps to give the photographs a timeless quality. This is not an attempt to fake that the photographs are old, but if people or cars were in the picture it would shift the focus elsewhere. Also, the fact that a lot of the photographs are of domestic property, makes one think of the people that live(d) in them anyway.
KALTBLUT: What different vibes do you get from different places (like Rome and NY)?
Peter: Both Rome and New York have architectural legacies… great monuments that represent powerful civilizations. This they have in common. We’ve seen both cities visually represented so many times, and feel like we know them even if we have not visited them. In Rome every view looks like a renaissance painting with incredible perspectives that sometimes don’t even feel real, and NYC has been portrayed in so many feature films.
KALTBLUT: How do you manage to add this dark melancholic feeling to many photos of yours?
Peter: I wouldn’t consider my pictures dark but they are solitary because devoid of people (this isn’t necessarily an un/happy thing). Also the Polaroid lends itself to an intimate portrayal of the subject matter, and using chocolate and sepia film gives it a timeless atmosphere.
KALTBLUT: Which is your favorite period in architecture and art?
Peter: Art: early 20th Century – the explosion of so many ideas in a relatively short period of time, and a time of great technical and social change struggle. Also, just before the turn of the 20th Century, the developments that happened in film and photography still are striking. Architecturally, my tastes are very wide – I love what we see from ancient civilizations but am excited by Modernism; technology only now is beginning to realize the dreams of 80 or so years ago.
Interview by Emma E.K. Jones