Neal Peterson is an artist balanced between worlds. He is one in a rare generation of creatives raised in the throes of the digital revolution—emerging from a history of traditional media such as drawing and painting into the bleeding edge of digital arts.

Peterson was born and raised in North Dakota. He would eventually study art and design at Minnesota State University Moorhead and later earn his M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth as he bridged the gap between graphic design and contemporary art.

In 2012, he left a teaching position at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD) to circumnavigate the globe as a self-proclaimed travel hacker—exploring 16 countries in 18 months while earning a Master's degree in New Media Art from East Tennessee State University.

In 2015, he began creating mandala-inspired collages of cities composed of his street photography. By combining architecture, public sculptures, vegetation and graffiti, his kaleidoscopic “urban mandalas” capture the blossoming, fractal nature of cities while representing the oneness and connectivity of its people. Two years later, Peterson’s Cities premiered at the Salon de Mobile in Milan, Italy as a collection of luxury carpets through a partnership with Netherlands-based design outfit, Moooi. To date, he has photographed dozens of cities including Amsterdam, Paris, and New York.

In 2020, Peterson began a series of National Parks to counter the intricate precision of his Cities. By creating organic photo collages of natural landscapes, he rejects the high-definition “money shots” of stereotypical postcard-photography. Instead, his National Parks present surreal, dream-like impressions of iconic landscapes that represent the existential pilgrimage one takes when connecting with their natural surroundings.

The underlying theme of his Cities and National Parks remains steadfast as a philosophical nod to the Symbolist Manifesto: representations of nature, human activities and all real life events don’t stand on their own; they are rather veiled reflections of the senses pointing to archetypal meanings through their esoteric connections... Or, to simplify: You can’t fake a pretty picture and expect it to be as good as the real thing—there is a deeper meaning below the surface.

Peterson currently resides in Minneapolis and continues to create and exhibit new artworks that explore the metaphysical sphere. Utilizing psychonautic methods such as meditation, psychedelics, and lucid dreaming, he lifts the veil of the illusionary physical world, developing new forms of Visionary Art through a unique lens of technology and mysticism.


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