100 Colorado Creatives: Richard Alden Peterson

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#3: Richard Alden Peterson

From his stint documenting punk-rockers in the 1970s and snapping art images for the early Bay Area zine Search and Destroy to his current gig -- only one of many -- as house photographer at MCA Denver, Richard Alden Peterson has covered a lot of ground with camera in hand, and he still swaggers sweetly in the black leather jacket, striped T-shirts and yellow pants of another time. A former gallery owner and ongoing community-builder among his photography peers, Peterson has a national reputation and the skills to warrant it. He's become an essential part of the arts landscape here; read on to learn what keeps him going.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Adam Lerner

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If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Yikes, there are so many interesting people in the creative universe that excite or interest me, so it is hard to choose one. I am inspired my many writers, artists, musicians and off-beat creatures. Art collaboration, when successful, and when fused emotionally and intellectually between two people, often results in remarkably powerful creations: amplified visions well beyond the mere capacity of one mere soul. I have first-hand experience with this when I collaborate with my wife, Sydney Peterson. 

Dead or alive, two people who pop into my head that I would LOVE to collaborate with: Leonora Carrington, the rebellious fem-spirited painter and writer -- Carrington was my fave surrealist-philosopher, whose free, illuminated  spirit reached into dreams and desires unchained. She is one of those incredibly gifted women almost left in the dust by the male-dominated art world of her time. I'm hugely influenced by the rebel-laced creative feminine spirit, much more interesting than the confined and overly rational art structured by many men.

The other is Bruce Conner, the visionary artist, the Godfather of MTV, the West Coast artist who dabbled in various media forms yet kept a consistent vision. He taught me how to be a trouble-making purist artist and to speak my unconscious mind via visual imagery without filters or interference or influence from people who don't get it.

Continue reading for more from Richard Peterson.


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