Peter Charapko studied oil painting under abstract expressionist Esteban Vicente and wash, drawing and life drawing with George E. Ortman. Graphics and typographic studies were with Aaron Marcus, a physicist and later prominent digital theorist.
At Princeton his initial interest in economics led to urban planning and then graduate school in architecture. He has had his own firm since 1979.
Painterly elements are basic to his design and composition. These include hand-washed panels in brownstone renovations and hand-rubbed rag-brushed panels on a church iconostatic chancel screen, with oils, gesso, and gold leaf accents. He studied, interned and taught with architect Michael Graves during Graves’ formative years, when Graves’ work, initially houses, included murals, wall painting, cubist plans, and polychromy.
Many of Charapko’s recent works are impressionistic still lifes. Elements are rendered recognizable but often in fields -compositions of their own – and paint does not cover every inch of a canvas. The palette will recall the high color saturation of fauvism a century ago. Some charcoal draughing on the canvas creates both sketch and finish elements.
On a personal note, he writes: While the images are flat on their surface, their looseness and tentative brushwork forces a viewer to regard some things in the round. And close up there may be calm, or fury, but overall, repose.
Still Life as Portrait: October: