MEET THE ARTIST EVENT
5-7PM on SATURDAY, October 7
FRIDAY and SATURDAY
1109 East 55th Street, Chicago, Illinois
Archival photograph prints.
About the artist
David Petrouskas, is a Chicago native born on the South side of Chicago in 1964. The name, Petrouskas, is of Lithuanian origin; David's heritage, however, is half Cheyenne and half Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Although David's family moved a lot when he was a kid, they remained mainly on the South Side. David now lives in Crestwood, not far from where he grew up.
David works as a Building Engineer (his day job) in Campus North Residential Commons (CNRC) at the University of Chicago, the same building where Southspace's gallery is located. When David is not helping keep CNRC running he is an avid photographer with a particular interest and skill in wildlife photography.
A conversation with David:
When asked about his process, David stated,
"It’s the planning of what I’m going to photograph. Eagles are my favorite subject, so the best time to do that is early morning when they are feeding. The editing I don’t like a whole lot. I would much rather be in nature than behind the computer. When I print the photo of what I accomplished in the editing process it makes it all worth while.
"The best part for me is just being in nature, capturing a cool image, whether it’s a picture of a mountain or a tiny insect, I’m at peace in nature.
"I try and use all four seasons, so I’m always changing things up to avoid overusing the same subjects. I print more of my photos of wildlife, because they look cool when you make large prints.
"I go to a lot of zoos, bird sanctuaries, and nature preserves. It is hard to look at animals in a cage, so when I’m taking their pictures I’m thinking how to make it look like they are still in the wild. The background is important to me. It could be a distraction. A fence or cages are something I don’t like in my photos. I black out the back ground not only to eliminate the distraction but also to make the subject stand out. These animal shots are portraits, getting the details of their faces, it’s all about the eye contact. Once you black out the back ground that portrait pops and it's just you, the animal, eyes can make contact. Looking a caged animal in the eye, knowing they are caged, while being able to imagine them in the wild."
Q: Does your heritage have an important connection to your art?
A: I think just being in nature where the land has not been destroyed for profit.
Q: As you look at your own photographs, do the animals take on meaning in your life?
A: Just the eagle. When I look at the eagle's eyes in the photo I see myself. Native people look at the eagles different than most, it’s the power and strength of the most majestic animal on the American continent."