barbor studioportrait web

Peter Barbor

Resident Artist Teaching Artist - Past

Residence Time: 2019-2020

Country of Origin: US


Peter Barbor has lived and worked across North America.  He received his BFA with Honors in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. In 2017, he graduated from the University of Washington’s 3D4M program, earning the de Cillia Teaching with Excellence Award.  Recently he has finished working as Visiting Faculty in Ceramics at the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Canada.

Peter’s work engages the histories and mythologies of the sculpted figure.  Through a provisional use of clay and adjacent materials, he is particularly concerned with exposing vulnerabilities in how these narratives define masculinity.



Through my work, I examine and dissect canonical concerns of the sculpted body.  How can I expose porosities in sculptural assumptions that, at times, predate our contemporary understanding of art? The past is forever informing the present, and so I try to consider how my work can embody history. When I sculpt, I flatten time. A work of mine may idiosyncratically draw as much from a kouros figure as it does from Mary Martin’s stage rendition of Peter Pan.

I approach medium like I do history—plastically. Clay, plaster, and wax have all traditionally been used in the preparatory stages of an artwork.  In my studio, I employ these materials because of their capacity to record touch. As they approach resolution, my sculptures may be suspended in a moment of becoming or decomposition. From the historical prototypes I reference, I am concerned with what remains extant and what has distorted in the present tense. Asking these questions, I hope to argue that all that is old is new again. To pick at the body of my forefather, I look at my own. 

As I begin my time as a resident at The Clay Studio, I anticipate further developing my unorthodox use of clay. Drawing from Philadelphia’s abundant cultural institutions and museums, I hope to continue to examine art history as a vehicle for my studio practice.