oil painting of plus in a circle; black canvas with a line of smoke in background
Peter Swift, Dignity of Work – Eight Spark Plugs, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in

How did you develop your unique style?
Peter Swift: My style is unique because it combines two distinct elements: classical realistic still-life painting and symmetrical design. I have coined the phrase “Symmetrical Realism” to describe my work.

Most of my work features circles, because I believe that the human brain has a deep psychological connection to circles. The circle is a fundamental symbol in many of the world’s religions because it represents harmony, unity, tranquility, completion and wholeness.

In my “Dignity of Work” series, I try to honor the men and women who have used their hands, their tools, their savvy, experience and hard work to build our homes, our schools, our roads, and in fact everything we see around us.

My biggest influences have been Louise Nevelson, Martin Puryear and Andy Goldsworthy. Following in the footsteps of these iconic artists, my goal is to use everyday objects to create laconic, resonant symmetries.

Symmetry is a fundamental underlying principle in art. However, over the past century, symmetry has been a factor for the most part only in abstract art, such as the work of Josef Albers and Frank Stella. My work combines both symmetry and realistic rendering, both imagination and meticulous craftsmanship.

To see more of Peter’s work, visit:

oil painting of clips in a circle; black background
Peter Swift, Dignity of Work – Eight Clamps, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in


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