Artist Greg Petan utilizes his mastery of drawing with pen, pencil and ink to create a contemporary new series inspired by the human skull, a centuries old motif. He incorporates symbols and imagery of nature to expand on the cryptic human theme of life and death. Petan imbues new meaning by referencing pop culture, and the never-ending cycle of life; his exquisite drawings of skulls incorporate butterflies, birds and lush vegetation with its extravagance and vitality rendered in minute details. Small sections in color breathe life into the ink drawings and celebrate the continuous cycle of disappearance and rebirth. More elaborate, larger-scale compositions play on the same theme, while including even more diverse elements to underline the potential cultural oppositions which exist in synergy to create the whole.
Skull imagery has been used for thousands of years to symbolize both mortality and power, and has been employed in ceremonial rituals as well as art. Contemporary interpretations may stem either from the medieval eschatological visions of transgression beyond the realm of physical life, or from more recent discoveries of Meso-American artifacts and the controversy surrounding them. In more recent years, perhaps the most famous skull interpretation is Damien Hirst's controversial "For the Love of God."
Artist Gregory Petan attended Art Institute of Chicago and graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Through rigorous training rooted in the academic tradition of drawing and painting, Petan developed the spectacular mastery of the medium as well as his elaborated vision as a contemporary artist.
Artwork © 2013 Greg Petan