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John Petrey


John Petrey creates sculptures that toy with imaginations and emotions by re-creating outfits for men, women and children from colorful pieces of tin, steel and other materials.  When asked about his inspiration behind the series John says  "I was raised as an only child in Southern California. My mom ran a beauty salon. After school, I would walk to the salon and watch a lot of TV until it was time to go home," explains Petrey. "I tuned in to a make-believe world portraying perfect people, in perfect families, living in a perfect society:  Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, and I Love Lucy. It didn't matter what problem they had, it was solved in 30 minutes. There we were in the '60s...the Vietnam War was going on, the drug culture was growing...but on TV, everything was perfect.  In those shows,"the artist adds, "the women appeared perfect, always dressed to the nines, very pressed, and of course wearing pearls as they prepared breakfast. The Dress Series personifies the woman of that era."   Petrey's “outfits” on display at the Wit Gallery reflect the ideals of 1960's television: They look perfect but they can't really be worn.  A real woman in the 1960's may have never worn her dress and pearls while preparing meals!

Aluminum, steel & enamel
27" x 15”w x 15"d

Aluminum, steel & enamel
26"h x 16"w x 16"d

Elaina (Garden Sculpture)
Aluminum, steel, enamel

Aluminum, steel, enamel
27"h x 12"w x 10"d
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