Peter Lankas lives and breathes art. He is a painter and photographer of rare talent and dedication as well as being an art teacher and lifelong art learner. Through the depth of his exploration of the ordinary and everyday he is able to express, with absolute integrity, the peculiarities and individuality of any situation or environment he may inhabit.
It is through total immersion in his subject that Lankas invests it with such vitality and individuality. The intensity of his gaze remains the same, whether fixed on the tropics, the repetitions of suburbia, the intimacy of a domestic interior, the masses of humanity naked in the melanomic Australian sun, or the frantic, manic swirl of Indian street life.
Lankas’ work is focused on his immediate environment and all the subtleties from which it is formed; the physical stage in which the dramas and comedies of the everyday are played out; the theatre of life. He is enchanted by the notion of discovering and establishing artistically the essence of place; those essential ingredients that give any locality its individuality and unique presence.
As much as he is concerned with understanding the basic elements that make up his environment and thus the subjects of his paintings, he is forever developing and pushing the formal constructs of painting. Lankas has never been an artist to dwell too long within his comfort zone. His work is a journey of visual experimentation, always seeking to discover new methods and means of depicting the distilled essence of his immediate circumstance.
Through intense observation and questioning of all he senses Lankas is able to present the core of that world in which he exists. He has extracted the essence of the beach, the tropics, the streets and of humankind itself. As well, Lankas is one of few artists to give form to that bond that exists between beauty and the banal in the suburbia that is home to the vast majority of Australians.
For Lankas life is art and as an artist he is a recorder of life; a life observed with rare clarity and insight.
John Barnes, 2008
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