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Artist Peter Kuttner Photographs Clouds in His Free Time

Best of Phoenix hit newsstands Sept. 26. In conjunction with this year's Vintage Phoenix theme, New Times is collaborating with R. Pela Contemporary Art to present "Hot Plate!" It's an exhibition of one-of-a-kind, Phoenix-inspired commemorative plates made by local artists. Leading up to the show's Oct. 4 opening, we're profiling each of the contributing artists and visiting their studios. Today: Peter Kuttner.

Artist Peter Kuttner is a painter whose style encompasses everything from cityscapes to still life and minimal abstraction. He likes to play with color, texture, emotions, and the juxtaposition of man-made and organic items.

Kuttner says he loves the big sky in Arizona. He enjoys photographing the clouds as a personal pastime, though he admits that the images often end up on Facebook.

See also: Hot Plate! Best of Phoenix Commemorative Collaboration Opens Oct. 4 at R. Pela Gallery

The painter says he knew he wanted to be an artist when he was in first grade. A piece he created as part of an assignment was hung on the wall of the library, and he knew from then on that he had a connection to visual art.

These days, Kuttner can be found spending time with his two dogs while working from his home studio.

What's your earliest memory of Phoenix? My earliest memory of phx is from 1997. I was studying at Ringling School of Art and Design (now called Ringling College) and living in FL. My older brother and his family, who live in the Valley, flew me out to visit at Christmas time. This was the first time I met my nephew John. I remember the temperature was perfect, the air was dry. It was fun. In 2002, I eventually moved here.

What inspired your plate for this show? When I'm in the studio, I naturally lean toward the spontaneous development of the work. I allow gravity to pull and to "settle" the paint. The evaporative process plays a large role in yielding my aesthetic. The fans are always on high.

Phoenix needs more... Bike lanes. Shade trees.

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Phoenix needs less... Suicide lanes. Apathy.

What's on your plate this fall? At the same time Hot Plate will be exhibited, my work will be represented by Deljou Art Group at SPECTRUM New York. SPECTRUM is a juried contemporary art fair featuring artwork by mid-career artists who have experience working with galleries. You can also find me playing around the valley in Instant Has-Been, a two piece rock band I co-founded with bassist Mickey Ferrell.

See Kuttner's work when "Hot Plate!" opens October 4 at R. Pela Contemporary Art.

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