Italian artist Manuel de Rita a.k.a. Peeta transforms static structures by painting colorful cubes and abstracted cylindrical shapes to appear as if they are floating above the surface of the wall. This technique was derived from the traditional 3D lettering he grew up painting, and continues to evolve as he experiments with realistic objects, like the window that protrudes from the turquoise and purple work below.
“Initially, my works only realized the sculptural quality of individual letters, namely the ones that spelled out my own moniker Peeta,” he says in an artist statement. “Progressively, the fusion between traditional lettering and three dimensional style has given life to a unique kind of visual rhythm. Today, through my anamorphic works I redesign the volumes of any kind of surface involved, thus causing with my paintings a temporary interruption of normality by altering the perception of familiar contexts, and so raising a different understanding of spaces and, consequently, of reality as a whole.”
It is inevitable for the artist to convey his own personality through his work. In the case of Peeta, this happens through his work with a three-dimensional painting that hides a spiritual side of the artist. In the midst of technical and formal perfection, lay shades of color and perceptive tricks. The latter being an essential part of a progressive disclosure of the artist’s own personality, implicitly mediating his own will to understand and describe his ego.
The artist plays with the letters of his moniker, as an attempt of making a self-portrait. His plays with perspective and concept of dimension aim at revealing the deceptiveness of human perception. Shifting fixed points of view with visual tricks serves to emphasize the fallacy of the human perception of the world, in an attempt to grant a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately revealing the will to deceive.
Peeta has been a graffiti artist since 1993, and he is a member of the EAD crew in Padova, Italy, FX and RWK crews in New York City. He has participated in graffiti jams and Meeting of Styles events across Europe and the Americas. The Italian artist isn’t just a graffiti artist, but also a sculptor, as his pieces explore the potential of sculptural lettering, similar to his street art and paintings.His PVC sculptures start as a 3D design in a software that allows him to have a three-dimensional view of the sculpture and virtually cut out all the surfaces as he considers his pieces on a 2D plane. Peeta also explores his field of interest on canvas.
Perfectly understanding shapes and size of any material of his choice, thanks to the 3D program, Peeta builds his sculptures. He cuts the PVC plates and assembles them together, coating the surface of the sculpture with a polyester layer. This allows him to mask the imperfections resulted from the building process, and also to allow singularity to the structure. Besides the PVC, Peeta has acrylic resin and fiberglass sculptures as well as bronze, which are created using investment casting technique.
These large-scale explorations of multiple dimensions and eye-boggling optics have been painted globally, including Guangzhou, China; Barcelona, Spain; Mirano, Italy, and more. Recently the artist wrapped up an artist residency at Jardin Orange in Shenzhen, China. You can see more of Peeta’s work, including his paintings on canvas and sculptural objects, on his website and Instagram.