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Jonny Peterson

Jonny Peterson

By only

Friday November 19, 2004

Weird Dreams


IN a world influenced by dreams and hitchhikers extracted from the imagination of a fair-weather nomad, logs are created out of illusions. Jonny Peterson’s work is a collection of scattered ideals and nightmare wishes. The delusions and hopes of forty-foot dogs and functional design. I sat down with Peterson to discuss the importance of digging.

ONLY: Do you think that dreams have influenced your art?
Jonny Peterson: Yeah.

ONLY: Do you think your art is taken directly from your dreams though?

JP: Sometimes [Laughs]…


JP: You’ll have to just make up all the questions and answers. Just make up questions and answers. You can say anything you like. Use your own judgment. You can use anything I’ve ever said if you like.

ONLY: These paintings seem to me like hitchhiking, you know what I mean? Like weird little towns and stuff.

JP: A lot of the time it’s things I wish I saw hitchhiking [Laughs].

ONLY: But is there a hitchhiking influence you think?

JP: Of course there is. That’s why I like to go traveling. I like the way things look when you just get to them you know?

ONLY: So you bring little books with you when you travel?

JP: Yeah I like to do that.

ONLY: Do you have weird dreams when you travel?

JP: I have weird dreams always.

ONLY: Are you going to do more carvings?

JP: Well I don’t know. I don’t really count it as art anyways. I don’t like art.

ONLY: Why?

JP: I don’t really know. There’s too much stuff to go with it.

ONLY: Like what? Artistic statements and stuff?

JP: No, just like the fact that there would be one. I figure with these things people have to do the thinking for themselves. They shouldn’t have to follow some directive picture to be pounded into their heads. They should relax and be like, “Ah, that makes me think of that.” People spoon-feed their drawings and art to the viewer these days and I don’t like that. I almost think that’s being rude to everyone who’s looking at it.

I started to look through Jon’s collection of old things. Jon is an avid digger and I asked him if old things had an influence on him.

JP: Yes of course. It’s sort of what introduced me to the idea that things actually could look good instead of shitty you know?
ONLY: So, the older it looks the better?

JP: Well, well the old stuff is made of real–you know–there were no plastics back then plus the designs seem to be focused more on decorative aspects than anything is now; now everything’s all about functionality. Like with new buildings. It all looks like Nazi architecture to me.

ONLY: Could you tell me about that dog you had? King something?

JP: King K’dare. King K’dare was a dog we adopted from an old lady in Vancouver because she didn’t know how to deal with it anymore. It was going crazy or something and we picked it up at the ferry terminal. A Bull Mastiff. About forty feet tall and sixty feet wide. A big dog. Big. [Laughs] And it weighed plenty too and they’re just fat generally, no just large in a lot of ways.

ONLY: What happened with it?

JP: When we got it, it started to get dirtier and dirtier and eventually it just lived in a pile of rotten potatoes in our backyard and it just stayed there and ate the potatoes and its own shit and eventually my dad just shot it, put it down, took it up to the place where he took sick animals on the farm and that was that.