Arts and Entertainment

Two Wall shows works of Peter Serko

A work by photographer Peter Serko - Courtesy photo
A work by photographer Peter Serko
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Two Wall Gallery is gearing up to present “My Short Life in Photography,” a collection of photographs by renowned Northwest photographer and former Islander Peter Serko, with an artist's reception slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 6.

Serko, who shows his work at Grand Imprompu Gallery in Tacoma, began his career in photography several years ago, after he had turned 50 and explored a wide variety of other creative endeavors, including childrearing, gardening, cooking, and working as a family therapist and information technology specialist.

His subjects include landscapes, architecture, cityscapes and house interiors.

As curator of the Two Wall Gallery, I recently interviewed Serko about his upcoming Vashon show.

GW: Why the title?

PS: The title is a play on the oft-used phrase "...a life in photography" or something similar. Although I’ve been interested in photography for years, I began serious shooting only in 2007. My first "fine art" photo was taken after moving off Vashon to Tacoma, so I really have had a "short life" as it were. Digital photography made the difference for me. 

GW: How did digital change things?

PS: The immediacy of digital clicked with me. The quick feedback you get with digital made it easier for me to learn the things required to produce good work. Interestingly, I have recently started shooting 35mm and medium format film. Nowadays, great film cameras are cheap so it is easy and inexpensive to play with film. The down side of digital is that you can develop bad habits and get sloppy. Film makes you think.

GW: How would you describe your style?

PS: That is hard to say. If I were to use one word it is "moody.” The photographers I admire and study have "moodiness" to their work, and I'm drawn to "older" styles like sepia and other variations of black and white. For subject matter, I like landscapes, both urban and rural. I live in the city now, so urban landscapes are a major theme because I have them at my doorstep.

GW: Moving away from Vashon impacted your work?

PS: I now live in a 1000 sq. foot condo: no lawn to mow, no blackberries, etc. Our kids are out of the house so I have more time for photography. The move to the city opened a new world of possibility for me in terms of subject matter.

— Greg Wessel is the curator of Two Wall Gallery.

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