Robert Peterson is a contemporary painter living and working in southwestern Oklahoma. His work aims to reinvent the adverse narrative of the Black community around him. He focuses on their strengths and resilient attitude to create instinctive portraits that are now in the collection of many celebrities, art connoisseurs, and museums. “Not only have I been focused on trying to change the narrative of how Black people are represented through my works, I am intentionally painting Black men, women and children to make sure that their stories and them get a chance to live forever through my works,” he says.
In the past decade, Peterson has evolved from his self-taught origins to exhibit his works in celebrated galleries in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. In 2016, he was the first African American selected for ‘Artist of the Year for Southwestern Oklahoma’ by the Oklahoma Arts Council. The following year, he became the Spectrum Spotlight Artist of the Year during Miami’s Art Basel. This September, his solo show Challenging the Black Narrative will open at Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem, New York.