Artist Peter Zvonar has been following his unique vision. His staged photographs are defying stereotypes by explor-
mg the nether worlds of the dreamscape.To explore this internal territory the artist provokes the senses of the viewer
through the processes of visual displacement, juxtaposition, and reference shifts. As a result, Zvonar has created his
own world reminding that our present day civilization and its rules of conduct and behavior is but a thin and fragile
veneer, laid upon the psyche which contains passions and instincts of primordial nature. Not surprisingly, then, we find
that the artist, in his works, explores the ambiguous liminal zone between the real and the imaginary, what is sensate
and what is not, in effect bringing out for all to see how closely the sex drive interrelate through the use of Freud’s
pnncrple of the uncanny.
Zvonar’s images are residues of self-exploration — images salvaged from the unconscious after a series of inner
journeys. They also are social and cultural commentaries in which we are confronted with a world on the point of
dissolution, fracture and conflagration. Through his intimately intense scenes the artist gives expressive form to the
near-inchoate needs, impulses and instincts.
Zvonar’s photographs are within the important artistic tradition of using the psyche in order to uncover what was for-
mally submerged within repression. There are several distinct techniques that we are to note if we want to forge a path
towards consciousness. They include a disorientation of sensation, in which the confusion of the senses allows the
artist to begin apprehending his ability in becoming a Rimbaudian-like observer, and, the prospecting of black humor
which allows the ego to overcome the problems of the external world.
All three of these devices are found in equal measure in the Peter Zvonar’s charged photographs. The artist’s visual
exploration is wide-ranging and his visual navigation within the self offer a penetrating look at the primacy of passion
and the irrational. His provocative images, with their near-mythic thrust, invoke a Dionysian spirit submerged in the
world of Eros. lt veers away against sanctioned thinking, against the canons of established religion, rules of the state,
and sanctioned views of sexuality.
Peter Zvonar is in perpetul pursuit of creative individuation. He approaches this goal in a proccess of focusing his at-
tention on the most important and immediate needs. Towards that end he has discovered (or invented) narratives and
mythology to fuel the intentions of his work. Zvonar’s characters inhabit spaces and places that are in the world of the
not-known in the realms that are subversive. The artist’s characters reflect the chemistry of imagination, the volatile
and ephemeral reverie.
If we were to permit ourselves the challenge of characterizing the complex and often contradictory quality of Zvonar’s
art we might say that its incongruous facets arise out of a struggle to make manifest an ‘inner realism’ only available
to the artist. It arises out of a world that only the artist is capable of identifying and tracing. He is engaged in seeking
in art a satisfaction for man’s rage for order; he finds spiritual order, not divine revelation, in a secular imagination. In
outlining that world’s contours to the observer Zvonar‘s logic of passion gives moral authority and remarkable subver-
sive importance to the artist’s task of unveiling the marvelous.
John Austin is an art writer living and working in Manhattan