Edited by Anna Popper

Peter Polyak is a contemporary fine art painter, an interdisciplinary artist, an American of Hungarian origin living in Miami, Florida, USA. With more than three decades of dedicated practice, Polyak has meticulously honed his craft through immersive apprenticeships with master artists across various disciplines. His expertise spans portraiture, airbrushing, realism and surrealism, with each facet contributing to the rich tapestry of his artistic expression. Having learned various techniques and painting methods, Peter later combined this knowledge and continues to seek new approaches to create emotions imprinted into a visual form of fine art. He is primarily known as a figurative painter who skilfully blends acrylics, airbrush techniques and oil paints.

Peter Polyak began his exhibition series at Miami International Fine Arts (MIFA) in 2024. Interestingly, his participation in this collective exhibition stemmed from joining an art group organised by his friend Fernando Fernandez with his art gallery Mundo Arte Miami.

The narrative unfolds in October 2023, when Fernando took Peter to an exhibition opening at MIFA. Despite the building’s less central location in Miami, the art show’s opening attracted hundreds of visitors. It turned out that MIFA houses 23 art studios with a residency program and five gallery rooms, one of which doubles as a theatre space with sold-out nights every weekend. The other half of the building serves as an art school with multiple classrooms and studios offering high-level programs for various art forms and age groups. Upon discovering artworks on the walls created by teachers who studied in Florence for several years, Peter was enamoured with the place and promptly applied for a studio. Fortunately, three studios were available for a limited time. After meeting Artistic Director Marco Caridad, Peter swiftly became a resident artist at MIFA. Fast-forward several months, Peter found his new artistic family among the great artists of MIFA and continued to connect Fernando with the place and his new friends with Marco. This ongoing connection led to a partnership between the two galleries, culminating in the creation of an intriguing collective exhibition directed by Fernando Fernandez and co-curated by Fernando and Marco Caridad.

“Stepping out of Time, A Collective Exhibition Breaking Boundaries” by MIFA

The innovative show titled Stepping out of Time, A Collective Exhibition Breaking Boundaries organised at MIFA’s gallery rooms traverses various artistic expressions from realism to surrealism and futuristic AI-generated elements.

Curated by Fernando Fernández, the showcase challenges the conventions of time and space through art. It brings together a diverse group of visionary artists such as Peter Polyak, Chris Gilson, Javier Caraballo, Fernando Fernández Granada, Mercedes Perier, Rocard Mo, Oscar Esteban Martinez, Tomas Flores, Michel Castro and Shiva Ma, and presents their artistries through paintings, statues and prints, a laptop with AI application to explore the future possibilities.

At the intersection of technology and visual art, “Stepping out of Time” explores how digital tools such as virtual and augmented reality enable artists to transcend physical limitations, creating immersive experiences that disrupt conventional notions of reality.

MIFA continues to strengthen its position as a pillar in Miami’s art scene by promoting arts education and organising events that foster creative exploration. With a firm commitment to inclusivity and collaboration, MIFA strives to be a hub of innovation and artistic celebration, connecting the community through the transformative power of art.

Peter Polyak’s Surrealism

During my recent visit to Miami in March 2024, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Polyak at his new studio in MIFA. While viewing his paintings, our conversation delved into an exciting new chapter of his life as an artist. Peter eagerly shared insights as he unveiled his new series of surreal paintings, revisiting his decades-old symbolistic surrealist artworks that have had a Nostradamus-like effect on his own life. As Peter rediscovered some unintentionally painted details, he now understands them as meaningful, message-like symbols of his own life.

In 2023, he began painting new compositions in this semi-automatic stage of consciousness where compositions unfold organically. While painting, he discovers details that arose in the stage of unconscious creation. The process of filling up the canvas involves a blend of conscious and unconscious presence of the mind. He works a little on the recognised details, then returns to a monotonous, meditative state of mind. After completing a work, Peter is able to view the painting as if it were made by someone else. He immerses himself in reading the image, discovering new details and analysing them like interpreting dreams.

His favourite moments arise when fellow artists or art enthusiasts share the stories they discover in his paintings. The seemingly unconsciously ‘channelled’ symbols in the artworks become open to interpretation, allowing viewers to find personal meaning in them. Peter Polyak’s “Messages” series is only in its infancy with an endless stream of thoughts awaiting translation.

The most genuine insight into Peter Polyak’s perception and portrayal of the world is encapsulated in his own words and the motto that guides the artist’s life:

“Embracing the diversity in the world, I acknowledge that various factors compel us to perceive things from our souls to the surface. I don’t seek a style, not even today. I allow myself to see as vividly as life thrives and endeavour to portray my experiences in my own way – as reflections of aspects and emotions.”

Sources and photos: Peter Polyak, MIFA, polyakart.com