Toronto native and Berlin based painter Peter Wilde has spent the last four decades in search of an answer to a single question - whether, in the face of rapid technological development, particularly in the arena of human relations, it is still possible to know individuals and cultivate empathy for them. His work has closely followed and responded to various advancements from chat rooms and social media to reality television.
Inspired by the way people represent themselves online, he explores themes of voyeurism and exhibitionism. His work often depicts the intimate gone public, and the humanity that lives on despite the consequences of dehumanising technologies. The images he features have a manifestly private character, yet are distributed online and made public for an intimate purpose - making human connections. Where others may see negative developments in technologies moving human relations forward, he chooses to accept and embrace this revolution. Man, he believes, is essentially robust, and humanity always capable of the singular act that makes us human: empathy.
Peter Wilde perceives his place to be firmly within in a long line of painters who have used appropriated images to make sense of the world we create around us through the media. The painters Luc Tuymans, Rauschenberg, Richter etc. might be seen as his artistic forebears.
Peter Wilde was born in Toronto in 1961, and received his BFA from York University in 1984. After an initial career as an artist primarily focused on sculpture, he turned to painting as his primary medium. Since his move to Berlin in 2007, his interests have broadened and now include politics and the immigrant experience.