Andrew Petrov earned his M.F.A. in Fine Arts in 1996 from The George Washington University in Washington DC, the school which employed his father as a professor in the political sciences.
In 1999, Andrew relocated to the south of France to ‘live the dream’ and develop his oeuvre outside the commerce driven world he left behind. Through this period, he also developed his own workshop program, personalprovence.com, teaching aspiring students how to paint by studying from the fabled Provençal countryside. In 2011, he made his own gallery where he enjoyed commercial success, mostly selling landscape paintings while preserving his larger, more involved works for his own collection.
To this day, Andrew continues to spend his summers in France to satisfy the demand from new and long-standing students who return year after year to benefit from his nuggets of wisdom and unique approach to artistic training.
In 2012, after thirteen years living abroad in Provence, France, Andrew repatriated to the USA, to San Francisco’s East Bay, where he made Crockett his home. He chose to adapt to the new world and learn about C.N.C. production, mostly laser etching and cutting. It was from this experience he realized the manual arts were fast becoming a thing of the past. His solution? To become even more primitive, ditching his brushes and painting only with his hands. He affectionally called this ‘finger painting’. Crude, chunky, and free of fine detail, this form of expression was Andrew’s attempt to balance handcraft against the unstoppable force known as Artificial Intelligence.
After a number of years experimenting with this technique, Andrew picked up brushes again to return to pure painting. Experiments, he thought, are vital to the growth of an artist, but nothing replaces the experienced by cutting loose with a brush in hand and subject in view.
Now, in 2020, after years out of sight, Andrew is finally displaying his work again, on the highly visible walls of Gallerie Valerie, founded by Valerie Quade, herself an accomplished creative and entrepreneur. It is here you can see many of the works he kept unexposed through his career, by appointments. Andrew’s preference is to find collectors as connoisseurs who adopt works of art to their own private collections. He isn’t bothered with a retail market, impersonal and commerce driven, ‘Amazonized’ for delivery via the computer screen or S.M.A.R.T. phone. As in viewing paintings in a museum, one can only respond to the art in person. One must, he believes, see the layers, the pentimenti; in short, the process by which a painting comes to be.