Peter Filene

Having grown up in New York City, I’ve always had an urban sensibility. No surprise, then, most of my photographs come from New York, Chicago, Boston, and Paris. I’m working on several different series. Please see my web site: www.peterfilene.com.

“Twice-told Tales”: During the past 20 years, I have been shooting double exposures on film in the camera  (not in Photoshop or in the darkroom). After taking one picture, I cock the shutter again without advancing the film. Then I search for an image that will harmonize with it. It’s a risky process, playing intention against chance. 

 “Picture, Picture on the Wall.": As I prowl with my camera through museums or along city streets, I frame people interacting with paintings or sculptures. We see frame within frame, body mimicking marble, art about art.

Peeling posters: Partly buried faces, words, and patches of color break through the surface, creating ready-made collages. I find these posters primarily in Paris. (For some reason, American posters don’t peel).

“Slices of Love”: At first glance, these images of couples kissing or whispering provide the guilty pleasure of peeking into people’s intimate lives. But if we’re voyeurs, they were exhibitionists. They chose to display themselves in parks, subways or museums in Paris and New York. 

Postcards: In my latest project, I combine the images and senders’ messages on old postcards (1900-1925), creating collages.

My photographs have been exhibited and won prizes throughout the southeast. 

I’ve lived in Chapel Hill since 1967. Until I retired, I taught American history at the University of North Carolina. Now I enjoy volunteering for Meals on Wheels, teaching at Duke Lifelong Learning, conversing with four grandchildren, and being a member of FRANK Gallery.