Peter Caine


There are fourteen abominable beasts in my installation Overseer—moms, dads, and little ones, all bigger than humans. Little motors inside make them jiggle and move, as they appear to engage in slow, hard labor. It is an alien and hostile environment. The white stuff mounded all around looks like snow. Some people think these guys look like snowmen. They're not.

For me—I'm from the South—the piece originally related to picking cotton. Hence the name. I was also thinking of tar and feathering. Most of my work knocks you over the head with the stereotype. In my recent show at Jack the Pelican, I didn't pull any punches. But that was a private gallery. In general, I'm moving toward something that reads a little more slowly, but also, for the general museum-going public, something a little subtler seemed more appropriate. It's still all there if you want to see it. I'm not sure everyone does. But that's fine with me. The viewer should decide what the content is about. The sound track, which my friend Hillary Snyder, A.K.A. DJ Unkown, helped me with is otherworldly—really, really haunting.