Art making is rejoicing. I am interested in creating work that, despite the suffering, celebrates joy within our brief gift of life. In an artist statement a few years ago, one of my expert college students wrote that the goal of his sculpture should be, "More fun than un-fun." I resonate with this wisdom.
I am interested in the relationship of artist and viewer. I offer works as visual mnemonics affirming life -- reminders to seize the day. I push and coax clay and wax with my bare hands. I weld steel or cast bronze into animated forms. This interaction often leaves raw, personal marks in my three-dimensional records of life-force. Imperfect marks are mirrors to my imperfect humanness.
In my 'all that I know' series, I condensed principles which inform my life into twenty-four single-word affirmations. One of these affirmations is 'gift'. Life may not seem like a 'gift' at all: A broken arm, a flat tire... worse, a car accident, a roadside bomb, AIDS, the death of a child; these are not gifts. Life often feels more like a harsh slap in the face than the soft cuddling of a teddy bear. I created bronze gift/gift coins. When flipped, these hand-stamped coins always land 'gift'-side-up -- a reminder that, despite how things appear, it is possible to discover something positive hidden within. In the face of adversity, it is difficult to remember our wisdom. Each sculpture or coin is dedicated to remembering the affirmative quality that enables us to act in spite of our fears.
Although we hurtle toward death at a fast clip with the looming cloud of mortality hanging over our heads, I’m interested in making sculpture that faces death while affirming the brief gift of life. Specifically, I’ve become increasingly interested in making art that can act as a tool, which reminds us who we can be. The sculpture is interactive. Some work incorporates spinning bases and removable bronze pieces. I say, 'Please, TOUCH the art.' Artists take inert ‘stuff’ like mud and paint, which may have no inherent, specific meaning, and infuse it with life force. Just as we all must create meaning out of the seeming chaos of life to pursue a spiritual connection with our world; for artists, our spirit is imbued into clay, bronze & paint. Mud becomes eyeballs & smiles. Pigment becomes ideas & emotions. Art has the potential to leave the world a better place. So, I’ve made work rooted in ideas about love & affirmation.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2006 "Love/Fear," Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 "Creating A Monument," monument and maquette exhibition, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA
2002 "All That I Know," Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015 "25th Anniversary, Sculpturesite Gallery, Glen Ellen, CA
2013 “BODYworks,” a new leaf gallery | sculpturesite, Sonoma, CA
2011 "Cary Weigand and Peter Schifrin - New Works," a new leaf gallery | sculpturesite, Sonoma, CA
2009 "Sculptures on the Plaza," Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 "About Face," Atrium Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Open Studio, Sonoma, CA
2000-2008 A New Leaf Gallery, Sonoma, CA
2006-2007 Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 "Confluence," City of Brentwood, Brentwood, CA
2005 "Painted Prayers," Claudia Chapline Gallery / George Krevsky Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
2005 "Vernissage," Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 "Reincarnations & Painted Prayers," Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
2002-2004 Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
2000-2002 D. P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, CA
2001 "Sh’arc Angel," San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
2001 National Feats of Clay, Lincoln, CA
2001 Central Sierra Arts Council Gallery, Sonora, CA
2000 The Artery (Winner of California Clay Competition), Davis, CA
1998-1999 Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA
1999 Ann Saunders Gallery, Jamestown, CA
1999 Central Sierra Arts Council Gallery, Sonora, CA
1998 "Four Elements & Cornerstones," performance and exhibition, Zaccho Dance Theatre, San Francisco, CA
1998 D. P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, CA
1997 Yosemite Studios, San Francisco, CA
1997 Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
1996 Faculty Exhibition, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA
1995 San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
1993-1994 D.P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, CA
1993-1994 Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA
1993 Faculty Exhibition, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
1993 Faculty Exhibition, Boston University, Boston, MA
1992 Graduate Exhibition, Boston University, Boston, MA
1990-1992 D.P. Fong and Spratt Galleries, San Jose, CA
1989 "Fresh Views," San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
1989 San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
1988 Firehouse Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1988 Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
1987-1988 John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA
1986 Gallery 364, Belmont, CA
1982 San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
2009 "Earth and Sky," 18-foot bronze, DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA
2009 "Play Sky," 12-foot bronze, private commission, Sonoma County, CA
2007-2008 "Full Sky," 20-foot bronze, private commission, Duchess County, NY
2007 "Maltese Falcon," bronze, John's Grill (SF Historical Landmark), San Francisco, CA
2004-2005 "Skyward” & “Confluence," 18-foot and 22-foot bronzes, commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA
1990-1991 "Firefighter," 11-foot bronze and steel, San Ramon Fire Protection District #1, San Ramon, CA
1989-90 "Wounded Man," 9-foot bronze, San Mateo Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA
1988-1989 "Coyotes," two 16-foot bronzes, San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Park Street Bridge, San Jose, CA
2004 Love and Fear, directed by Mark Decena, edited by Michael Brynteson, music by Tim Hockenberry, 10 minutes
2003 Confluence, directed by Ryan Detwiler, winner Best Documentary: AAU Film Exhibition: Creating San Francisco Monuments, "Confluence" & "Skyward", 18 minutes
2001-2002 All That I Know, directed by Max Knies, interactive film on 24 piece series, All That I Know mandala, 15 minutes
2008 "California Sculptor Peter Schifrin Creates Monumental Sculpture," www.artdaily.org, October 17.
2006 "Peter Schifrin Love & Fear: Hands On," by Kimberly Hathaway, www.artbusiness.com, November 6.
2007 "Maltese Falcon Rules Roost," www.sfgate.com, November 17.
2007 "Sneak Preview of New Maltese Falcon," by Steve Rubenstein, www.sfgate.com, October 10.
2005 Everythign Goes Into Art, Essay on Schifrin's work by internationally renowned auther and art critic John K. Grande.
2005 Love & Fear: The Sculpture of Peter Schifrin, 316-page book of Schifrin's works from 1985-2005, monograph with DVD Love and Fear by award-winning filmmaker Mark Decena.
2002-2003 All That I Know, limited edition hand-bound book of 24 sculptures with poetry and affirmations by Peter Schifrin.
Commissions and Portraits (Partial List): Robert Frost, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Kathe Kollwitz, Rosa Parks, Norman Lear, Helmut Althammer, Tom Aidala
Fiberglass "Bathers" commission, Barbara Dorn Associates, San Francisco, CA
"Wilkes Sport" commission, Hans Kainz Associates, San Francisco, CA
"Hilton Hotel Project" commission Eleonora Palagi Sculpture Studio, Hollywood, CA
1993-present Sculpture Instructor / Director, School of Fine Art Sculpture, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA
1997-1998 Sculpture Instructor, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
1993 Drawing Instructor, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
1993 Mold-making seminar, DeCordova Museum of Art, Lincoln, MA
1992-1993 Teaching Associate, Boston University, Boston, MA
1990-1992 Teaching Assistant, Boston University, Boston, MA
1988 Figure Sculpture, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
1992 M.F.A. Boston University, Sculpture
1982 B.A. San Jose State University, Sculpture