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Small Craters: The Art of David Allen Peters

An abstract painting made by scraping away layers of acrylic paintUntitled #4, acrylic paint on panel

David Allen Peters is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. In his practice, Peters is a painter, though his technique is one that often seems more akin to sculpture. The artist produces his paintings by layering paint onto a surface and then gouging out small craters to reveal the coloured layers below.

A painting with numerous small marks in layers of dried acrylic paintUntitled #9, acrylic paint on panel

I’m fascinated by the way that Peters’ process can be divided into two distinct stages -- the layering, or addition of the paint, and the subsequent removal. It’s as if Peters is a sculptor who not only carves figures out of an abstracted mass, but creates that mass in the first place, exhibiting a great deal of control over his medium. 


The resulting works complex abstract compositions on imposing, monolithic canvases -- what first may appear to be a repeating, firework-esque pattern turns out to be something even more interesting, like thousands of tiny Holton Rower artworks collected on a single picture plane.

A painting with two planes of highly textured colourUntitled #1, acrylic on panel

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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