Building sculptures by the cutting away of material, Tahiti Pehrson creates geometrical patterns of volume that speak to universal traditions of patternmaking throughout the history mathematics, arts, and crafts. Dating back to the first sign of Guilloche in Greek and Roman times, and seen independently throughout world history, variations of these patterns can be found across the natural and the manmade world. Within Pehrson’s sculptures, each shape receives light and serves the structure of the whole system, concentrically leading to the next variation to make a singular structure.
These intricate sculptures explore interplays of light and shadow, building dynamic monochromatic constructions that give material form to the space-changing qualities of light. Elevating the spatial qualities particular to each commission, Pehrson’s works speak to site: shifting perceptions of volume and structure as the viewer moves around the work – and as the light evolves throughout the day.
Born in 1972 to artist parents in Santa Rosa, CA, Pehrson began early life as a painter. Like many painters, Pehrson wanted to imitate light in such a way as to capture it. After traveling Mexico, China and the museums of Europe in search of art, he moved to San Francisco to follow in the footsteps of his father by attending art school in the Bay Area. At the San Francisco Art Institute, Pehrson found himself increasingly disillusioned with painting as he was exposed to new ideas and modes of working. In reaction, he sought to “drop-out” of art and work in the streets with stickers and stencil making – a process that would evolve into a more developed and dedicated practice of paper-cutting, together with also beginning a new process of public engagement.