As a part of the arts desk’s ongoing series, “In the Studio,” senior Peter Pendergrass spoke with staff writer Abby Gerdes about what drives his art — from childhood into the future.
Pendergrass is a double major in performance studies and studio art, working on multiple theses at UNC.
Daily Tar Heel: When did you first realize you were an artist?
Peter Pendergrass: When I was four, I painted a really great picture of my cat, Peaches. It’s still framed and hanging in my parents’ house. That’s my first memory of feeling intense gratification from making art.
DTH: What artists have influenced you and how?
PP: I’d probably say that I’ve been influenced by a lot of musicians. I love ’90s dance. Grouper has been a huge influence in my music and other art. …. I like the idea of simplicity — just objects in space. Art professors always want an intentional meaning, but sometimes meaning just happens.
DTH: How do you stay motivated when the going gets tough?
PP: Whenever I want something a lot, a lot, I wish for it on every 11:11. When I wish for something every 11:11 I know I really want it, and that helps to keep me motivated. Recently I’ve been wishing — I hope telling you won’t make this not come true — to graduate with honors and with sanity. I also let myself take breaks. Sometimes you have to pull all-nighters to get something done, but it’s also important just to know when to stop.
DTH: Do you have favorite movies? Favorite books?
PP: [Laughs] I don’t like the favorite movies question, but I’ll answer it. My favorite movies from childhood are “The Last Unicorn” and “My Neighbor Totoro,” but recently I’ve been really into older movies. As for books, I read a lot of short stories. I subscribe to McSweeney’s, a quarterly literary publication of short stories and other stuff, so I read that. For the past four or so years of my life my favorite books have been required reading and textbooks, so lately my favorite books are all about politics and collectivism.
DTH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
DTH: Do you have any advice for other student artists?
DTH: Any fun facts about you?
I made a Twitter account on New Year’s Eve, and it is just as stupid as I thought it would be. It was a joke, but I use it on the daily, partially because it was my resolution and I feel like I have to… but it’s still stupid. If you want to follow me, I’m @pppcccppp.
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