An Interview with Peter Fetterman director of Peter Fetterman Gallery.
Peter Fetterman was buzzing around his booth at the Dallas Art Fair as I was walking around. We made eye contact, got closer and asked each other who we were. Great guy with a thick British accent, I had instant chemistry with him. I wasted no time and asked if I could have an interview and he was ready to collaborate with me. It was the last day of the fair and he had many clients coming back to buy what they had seen over the weekend so my visit lasted for over one hour but the interview was only 11 minutes long.
Laura Cunningham: How long have you been collecting?
Peter Fetterman: I have been collecting for 30 years.
LC: Have you only collected photographs?
PF: That is correct. I specialized in photography from the beginning.
LC: What got you interested in Latin American photography?
PF: I like the humanism in the images and I think that people from Latin America have a genuine sense of caring and reality, basic human values which maybe a lot of other cultures don’t have. They are very nice, kind, sensitive people – full of life – and sensitive to other people’s problems and a sense of humanity.
LC: Have you always had a gallery to display your photographs?
PF: I started as a private dealer for 3 years and then I opened my first public gallery 17 years ago. Now I am based in Santa Monica, California. I am British by birth and I moved to America 30 years ago. I was a film maker but I got seduced by the power of images – still images – and it changed my life.
LC: Do you only collect Black & White photographs?
PF: I deal primarily with Black & White; it is more powerful for me.
LC: Have you ever lived in any Latin American country?
PF: I have not. I would like to.
LC: Would you tell me more about the Latin American photographers you carry?
PF: Sure, I think Sebastiao Salgado is probably the most important living photographer. He was born in Brazil and lives in Paris. He has a really global view. That’s his ethos. I really think he is the greatest living photographer. I spend a big part of my day on him.
Sebastiao Salgado – Gold Mine 1986
LC: What would you consider to be the main difference between Sebastiao Salgado versus Manuel Alvarez Bravo or Tina Modotti or Graciela Iturbide?
PF: I think because he travels so much he documents the world, and I think that both Bravo or Modotti who I love were very confined only to Mexico, where as Salgado is a Brazilian photographer that has a global vision an he is an economist that has an understanding on how the world works in particular how the third world works and how its relationship with the first world works because of his training as an economist. He is not just a photographer; he is a highly intelligent, analytical person with a great talent, with a great vision and he knows how to tell stories and he knows how to move people and he knows how to show things that he wishes.
Manuel Álvarez Bravo – El Sueño 1931
LC: Do you collect any other type of art; paintings, sculptures…
PF: Occasionally, I collect some paintings, I like drawings, and sometimes I trade with other art dealers. Over the years you find things you fall in love with.
LC: What moves you?
PF: My daughter “princess Charlotte” and theatre.
LC: What’s your favorite play?
PF: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, It makes me cry every time I see it.
This was a little bit about Peter Fetterman. A gentleman, easy to talk to. I hope to visit his gallery soon and pick his brain a little more so I may share with all of you. If you want to learn more about the photographers he represents, please visit www.PeterFetterman.com.
Until next time,
Art Fairs, Artists, Collections, Dallas Art Fair, Exhibitions, Fine Art, Galleries, General