Bob Peak: "a mixture of idealism and solid practicality"

Dori Watson, writing in a September 1962 article in American Artist magazine, speaks about "the thorny problem of the dichotomy between fine art and commercial art [being] unsettling to practicing artists, as well as to the consumer and the art-collecting public."

Based on some of the discussions in the comment sections of this blog I would say very little has changed in half a century.

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But back in 1962 there was no self-doubt or confusion on that issue in the mind of the subject of Watson's article. Bob Peak was entirely comfortable with his role: during a four hour interview in his agent's office Peak told Watson "I want to be an advertising man."

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"I know that in my own work, the things I do for advertising are not the same as those I would do for a gallery show. I do what I do by choice."

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"I believe in esthetics; I love to paint, to experiment, but I feel I have to be in advertising and have a problem to solve. I don't believe in art for art's sake. I could not be a 'closet painter.' To do this is to go off without first considering the problem."

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"The most important aspect of the problem is to keep close to those with whom you are communicating."

Continued tomorrow...

* Many thanks to Charlie Allen for supplying all of today's scans. They are "more clips from the venerable old file," and their arrival was the catalyst for this week's series on Bob Peak.

* My Bob Peak Flickr set.

* Bob Peak official website

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