Peter Vaz Nunes

"My drive is to connect 17th century painting technique with modern day life and people. By doing so I hope to keep traditional painting alive. I paint portraits because I feel every human being is worth it to be portrayed, to be shown to the world. Through my abstract and expressionistic work I rather 'portray myself'. The main theme there is the ambivalent feelings I have with "saying goodbye, farewell, parting"."

Peter Vaz Nunes was born in Amsterdam in 1955 in a family of painters. Both his father and grandfather were skillful painters. At the age of 12 he was scouted by AFC AJAX and for years he aspired a professional football career. He played in the second team on a semi-professional basis but had to leave the club when he was 19. He then turned his back to football and decided to go to University to study Modern English Linguistics. He got his master's degree and spent some years teaching English. All those years he didn't refrain from drawing, mostly pastel.

It wasn't until the early nineties that he decided to start using oil paint. He contacted a well-known artist who was a master in this traditional oil painting technique and was privately trained by him as a craftsman. Two years later he was properly trained and started his own career as an artist at a studio on one of the canals in the center of Amsterdam.

He now works on commission, makes free work and creates special projects like: "Background? What background?", a project he created and showed in 2013, consisting of 12 huge portraits (100x140cm) of men and women from various cultural backgrounds. The background on the painting was left completely white to emphasize that it is all about people and backgrounds are not important.

"When the observer, looking at the portraits, is touched by the beauty of each of the portrayed and is no longer occupied by their backgrounds, my project has succeeded."


Recently, he has started the Espiro Art Collective together with a poet to combine different art forms.