The work of Pete Kasprzak

On the hunt once again for inspiration I came across an artist that style stood out to me. I love to see different mediums intertwined and Pete Kasprzak does this beautifully. Photography and paint are mediums used very often but it was refreshing to see them used this way. Inspired by night life and urban scenery Pete has caught the attention of Art Gallery of Hamilton, Starbucks and the President of the Toronto Public Library. Working with Shania Twain, Calvin Klein, as well as Gwen Stefani. Art-n-Hustle got the chance to speak with Pete in depth about art, life and much more

Pete:I grew up on the Danforth in Toronto’s end and lived there my whole life until I went to college for Advertising and Communications. I got a job as a graphic designer in Toronto where I started off my own company on the side. I then decided to branch off (on the side) and do designs/art under my own name. My art was only a hobby then and I started to sell quite a few pieces slowly. In 2009 I was signed to a well-known publisher to which my art prints are being sold nationally. at Home Sense and Sears.ca. I always have that creative urge to create something. I even started my own clothing line where my hand drawn art is being printed on shirts. It too, started as a hobby and now I’m having people order a few at a time.

AnH: When did you know art what what you wanted to do?
Pete: I always used art as an escape I guess. Even as a kid. No matter what I did or happened, my art was always there. It took my mind off what was going on around me. By creating art, it gave me the satisfaction in knowing I am doing something positive. In school, I wasn’t the best student and got in trouble a lot for drawing in class, but I knew it would pay off. I always kept my mind focused on my art and pursued it, even when times were tough.

AnH: What struck my eye was your collaboration of photography and paint, how did that come about?
Pete:This series, I took first a picture from my hotel room in Pittsburgh which turned out great! I framed it and put it above my desk at home. I kept looking at it like it was unfinished. I decided I should paint on it giving it some character and depth and try something new. It turned out even greater! I had a party not too long after where someone saw it and loved it. Not only that, but wanted to sell them at a friends store which sold…. I then received many many orders from people for originals… and the rest is history

AnH: How did the publisher find you?
Pete:I was doing my first actual exhibit (Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition) last summer and a woman and her assistant came up and said they would like to sell my art. Signed the contracts, protecting myself. A few weeks later I got a call from a friend asking if my work was being sold at HomeSense because they thought they saw one of my pieces there. They could not believe it! neither could I. They took the picture of the pieces and sent it to me. It was in fact one of my pieces with my signature. I almost flew off my chair and was so happy and blown away, and at that moment, my art changed my life and after all my hard work, everything paid off emotionally.

Anh: How did this photo series come about and whats the inspiration behind it?
Pete:The Series is called “The Pete Kasprzak Photography and Oil paint Series”and is broken up into smaller series: NYC and Eastern USA, Toronto Aerial, Toronto Street, and Vegas. As for the art, … I am always inspired by nightlife and the action that happens at night. Much of my work is taken at night actually. Sometimes I feel that the night is its when my day begins and it makes me feel alive.When I hear the cars and people downtown give the essence the hustle and bustle and all that’s going on.. I want to portray happiness in life and living it through my art.

AnH:With the rise of photoshop and everyone being a graphic artist do you think that tarnishes the value of a painter?
Pete: I do think that technology takes away from fine art. However it is the new medium for everything. I still like traditional art, however the new wave of art is also really great. I actually re-did all my t-shirts as they where previously done in illustrator. I figured anyone can do that (no offence) on their computers. So then I decided to re-do all of them, only this time all hand drawn by me. I wanted it to be like wearing art, more personal and original.

Anh: Have there been any artist that really inspired you?
Pete:I’d have to say I admire Peter Lik because he is doing what he loves and is great and successful at it. His images are so great I can’t even put them to words. I should ask him to trade someday haha. Andy Warhol’s pop culture ways and celebrity I admire. Anything he did was immediate gold. He changed art in a cool way and I love it! The colour variations he used were vibrant and eye catching. His work was so unique, just by looking at it, you knew it was an Andy Warhol. I admire David Hockney. His pieces always are uplifting, especially when he was living in L.A. The palm trees and pools where always a place I imagined myself and he exhibited it that in a unique way

AnH: Hopefully we will be able to get you exhibited down here soon. However whats coming up next and where can people see your work?
Pete:As for my upcoming work, I will be displaying at Nuit Blanche in Toronto and at The Art Gallery of Hamilton. I will also be launching my clothing line soon also.

You can also check our my work here http://seewhatinspires.me/

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Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.