Cleon Peterson: Rule of Law 2 (detail)

Work / Illustration

Art: Cleon Peterson disturbs and delights with his giant canvases of orgiastic ultraviolence

I’ve always enjoyed Cleon Peterson’s work, even though the subject matter seems to focus solely on the most horrific aspects of human nature. But until now I’d only seen pieces that seemed to be set within an ancient and barbaric civilisation. Now it seems his depictions of orgiastic ultra violence have had an update, and there’s modern policemen in uniforms getting truncheon and trigger-happy on every poor sod that passes by.

For some reason this makes his giant images even more unsettling, implying a fierce critique of modern society and the social and political structures by which we’re governed. If that’s that’s a conscious decision on his part then Cleon has become a satirist of the highest order, if not then he’s simply an incredible talent cable of conjuring gut-wrenching nausea from his audience. Either way he is very, very good indeed.


Cleon Peterson: A Balance of Terror


Cleon Peterson: Struggle of Will (Weakness)


Cleon Peterson: Disappear Into Midnight


Cleon Peterson: Vengeance


Cleon Peterson: Glory


Cleon Peterson: Power


Cleon Peterson: The Practice of Masters


Cleon Peterson: Rule of Law


Cleon Peterson: Rule of Law 2