July 15 – Aug. 31, 2013
“I want to inspire people, to do better .. to push themselves, beyond where they’re at, regardless of the circumstances, and know that you can achieve what you want to. All you have to do is believe (in yourself)” – Robert Peterson in a 2015 YouTube video
Oklahoma artist Robert Peterson’s art is inspirational. That’s something most artists want, but for Peterson, he is achieving that measure. “I want to inspire people to do better.”
His overnight success is the result of some not-so-great news delivered by a doctor, that was necessary to improve his quality of life. Before he left the Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, he stopped at the gift shop and bought an inexpensive art set.
Peterson, in 2012, was 32 years old, but wasn’t a stranger to art. He’d been sketching his entire life and had attempted more than once to become a working artist. It wasn’t time – yet. The health scare, though, gave him another reason to pursue his talents and he began sketching celebrity portraits. They quickly became popular and he started painting.
His celebrity portrait paintings are saturated with color.
“I want it to be different, alive, something that captures your attention,” he says.
His portraits have included many superstars, such as Kevin Durant and Carrie Underwood, and are collected by celebrities like Swizz Beatz and Darrell Revis. He also has been commissioned by Nike Australia and since his exhibit here at the Center, he has become an internationally-sought after artist.
“Being an artist … it is work. But it is something I don’t mind doing, because I love it.”