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Meet Marie Peter-Toltz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Peter-Toltz.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
One memory that sticks out is from when I was ten years old. Back then, I was living in Alsace, and my father took me to the Kunstmuseum in Basel. Although I was mesmerized by the beauty around me. I was still seeing everything through the eyes of a ten-year-old. My absent-minded father left the museum to run an errand. Then after some time, I couldn’t find him, and I realized that he actually forgot me there. I was upset and worried; I didn’t know what to do. The museum had closed its doors, and I was locked in. I was scared. I went to speak to the guard, as a French native it was very challenging as I was just starting to learn German. The guard escorted me to the Museum Director, who fortunately spoke German and French, which gave me some semblance of comfort. It was then that the museum staff began to make incredible efforts to locate my father. During this time, while we waited, the museum director took my hand and very kindly let me through the rooms to show me all these paintings that I had missed before. He explained to me in French and German why these masterpieces where so important that people from all over the world and all walks of life would come to the Museum to view them. I remember we stopped in front of Oscar Kokoshka’s ‘The Tempest’, larger than me at the time. He explained the allegorical meaning of the tempest, I could only understand half of what he was referring to, and with each painting, I became less and less anxious and grew more and more excited about the art and the stories he was telling me until, I nearly had forgotten that my father had left me there. When they found my father and he returned, I ran to him and was so excited I couldn’t contain myself and told him about all the great Art History I had just learned.

Please tell us about your art.
Sometimes I just don’t know; it’s mostly subconscious, often cases your work is ahead of your thoughts, and it is only when you look back at it that you understand what you did. When I worked on my last exhibition ‘Tonight Think of Me’, I had an initial thought about one large painting, I wanted the painting to encapsulate the idea of a lost paradise. After working on it for a few weeks, I realized that the painting embedded a more personal imagery of one’s own interior journey, the idea of returning home.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Unfortunately, I think the conditions are terrible for artists today, there is no denying that artists have to face a lot of struggles, if we look back at Art History, artists were supported by the Church, then by private patrons and today the way society is structured, there isn’t real support for artists. Luckily, our strength as an artist is the freedom and the ability to create a community of exchange and support, surrounding ourselves with like-minded spirits. This is certainly easier in larger cities like Los Angeles, Paris or New York. What is lacking is always the money, resources, and representation because artists struggle to sell their art. People always admire artists for their choices but very few actually help or support artists.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
If you are in San Francisco, my painting ‘Horses of the Sun’II is currently exhibited at Hackett Mill Gallery ( ) next to SFMOMA.

If you are in Michigan, ‘La Pirate’ is exhibited in Grand Rapids for the art prize All Art Works

If you are in Sydney (Australia), ‘Le Monde Retrouvé’ (and other works) are exhibited at the Chifley Tower (courtesy of Nanda/Hobbs Gallery)

If you are in Adelaide (South Australia), come by the gallery BMG Contemporary Art (

If you are in New York go and visit Slag Gallery (

And if you are in Los Angeles, come and visit me in my new studio in the Brewery, DTLA (

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