A South African artist of mixed heritage, born in Cape Town in 1963, Peter Jonas has been strongly influenced by the struggles of the Apartheid era. He studied at Hewat College of Education, a hot bed of political activity where he chose to express himself as a creative activist, using his specialisms in Fine Art and Psychology to forge a contemporary Dali-esque style that continues to suffuse his visual vocabulary in paintings, murals, sculpture and photography today.
Since the early 1990’s, Peter has brought life to public art projects on a grand scale across three continents, painting and facilitating hundreds of meters of themed murals: in schools, community centres, hospitals, universities and other public buildings.
Most notably, for the Parliament of World Religions in 1999, Peter managed more than 150 people across all ages and backgrounds to create 250 meters of religious mural art, reflecting the spiritual iconography of a country in turmoil. The late Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu were among the delegates at this televised event in Cape Town.
After a sell-out solo show in Switzerland, Peter was selected as one of six South African mid-career professionals for a scholarship hosted by Indiana University in San Francisco, to lecture on their Masters Program on Multi-Culturafism in Education. He was invited by several schools and the Carlos Santana Foundation to engage young people at risk, in creating public art reflecting multi-cultural heroes and role models.
Based in London since 2000. Peter’s paintings have been exhibited and sold to buyers in Germany, France, Nigeria. Japan, the UK and USA.
Other highlights include commissions with a chocolatier to paint a chocolate portrait of Nelson Mandela, auctioned for his Children’s Fund at a Lord’s Cricket Ground Gala, and a chocolate Easter Egg of Russell Brand, presented to him live on the BBC One Show.
In London, Peter has shown at galleries such as Love Ketchup, The PM Gallery and he was featured in the top 100 for the Cork Street Open Show for Erotic Art in 2011.
Peter’s public works have appeared on GMTV. BBC and ITV1 News, and on Hairspray: The School Musical, presented by Denise Van Outen.
With a growing passion for film-making, Peter has co-produced and worked as Production Designer on his first film, a short thriller highlighting oil pollution, that is destined for the film festival circuit.
Peter is now completing six figurative surrealist paintings, including ‘The Trojan Horse”, exploring the fall-out of Colonialism and global conflict.