Pete Zebley (b. 1977), a Philadelphia-based visual artist, entrances viewers with his kaleidoscopic visions and reimaginings of the everyday. Working with oils and acrylics, and the occasional experimentation with mediums such as urethane and metals, Zebley has created an abstract painting practice that intertwines with his background as a tattoo artist, love of art throughout the ages, and his own innovative spirit.
A lifelong fascination with art evolved into a flourishing career as a tattoo artist. Commencing his tattoo practice in 1998 he became notable for his watercolor and fine art stylings. However, he desired to establish a visual arts practice that brought his technical skills to audiences in new dynamic forms. He enrolled in the esteemed Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts receiving formal training in not only drawing but painting and sculpture. His studies took him across Europe working with studios and acquiring new approaches.
Upon returning to the United States, he explored these new avenues within his painting practice, investigating color as a driving force for his work. Juxtapositions of dark and bright colors emerged illuminating his mastery of light and form. Collage-like abstractions that integrated harsh lines and bold fields of color with gestural brushstrokes evoking energy and vitality. Textured layers and excavation of paint reveal elements of figuration that alter and distort our understandings of reality. Zebley’s distinctive artistry had come into focus.
A recipient of the J. Henry Scheidt Scholarship in European Travel, the Cuff-Sammak Prize for Abstract Painting, the Will and Elena Barnet Prize for Abstract Art, the Sargenti Painting Prize, and the Arra-Smith Prize for Painting, Zebley has grown a wide base of admirers and collectors that have led his work to be included in private and corporate collections across the country. To date, he has had his artwork featured in exhibitions at James Oliver Gallery, Woodmere Museum, Gross McCleaf Gallery and Main Line Art Center.