Review – ‘The Best Of Both Worlds’ show, Otago Daily Times, 18 March 2004, by Richard Dingwall

show-bestofPeter Lewis makes extraordinary collages from the detritus of popular culture.

He chops up magazine images an rearranges them into remarkable blends of surreal humour and socially critical images. Like the great Dada artists John Heartfield and Hannah Hoch, Lewis creates photomontages that seem sometimes politically charged, yet often he is content to let the absurdity of his content defeat itself. Titles such as Dr Octopus and the House of Butterflies suggest the artist’s delight in a “B” movie aesthetic.

He has fun with beauties from the Golden Age of Hollywood with images when he sanctifies “Saint Betty” (Grable) or dives into Veronica Lake. But these images seem a little too easy when compared to the devilish humour of The Alchemy Of Chocolate. In a series of black and white prints and montages of Victorian engravings, Lewis follows an artist who is surely another of his heroes, the surrealist Max Ernst, by creating what is arguably a further incident in the graphic novel Une Semaine De Bonte, set on the streets of Dunedin.