Artist David Allan Peters brings order to the abstract

You could say that L.A. artist David Allan Peters has an affinity for rules — though it's hardly apparent when first viewing his work.

For his brightly colored, meticulously layered paint carvings, on view at Royale Projects Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles, the artist explained that patience is key to his process. Peters paints a single, candy-colored hue on wood panels, and he waits for it to dry. Then he adds another thin layer of paint, and he waits for that to dry. He does this again and again — over the course of a year — until the layers stack up several inches thick.

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Then Peters carves patterns into the paint block, revealing different colors at different depths.

The result is a psychedelic smattering of what looks up close to be tiny peacock feathers. But at a distance, surprisingly strategic, grid-like patterns emerge.

Peters' newer series — abstract works made of paint dust and copper wire encased in transparent resin — is the opposite, tonally. The work has a darker, murkier palette of greens and grays and flecks of gold. The works have a spacey, star-scape quality. But the copper wire cutting through what look to be intergalactic explosions gives the freewheeling design a backbone.

"I love painting, but the carving comes from a different part of my brain," Peters says. "The newer works, the dust is so free and loose, that's why I put the wire in — to give it order, rules. That's my thing."

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