In Peter Cochrane’s series, The Wild Beasts, his vivid still life photographs transform imagery that would have historically read as mere symbolic details into compositions representing personal “Thank Yous” to his ever-expanding queer chosen family and mentors. These works exist as intimate portraits that respond to the artist’s personal relationship with each person, as well as comment on the use of Nature against queer people in legal systems across the planet. As an artist and author, Cochrane probes themes of queer politics, autobiographical and ancestral trauma and recovery, and the fabrication of histories through his work. By using a 19th century 8×10 large format view camera, Cochrane employs the exact methods used by colonialists and ethnographers in an ironic fashion, thus instituting a threshold between the natural world and that constructed by humans.
Cochrane is a recent MFA graduate at Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed his BA in Art and Art History at San Francisco State University. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the de Young Museum, the Louvre, the Tokyo International Foto Awards, among others. Notable publications featuring his work include Hyperalleric, BOMB, Headmaster, The San Francisco Chronical and Artslant. Cochrane is a recent recipient of the Snider Prize through the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.