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, San Francisco, Boston, and Paris. I’m working on several different series. 

“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. 

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).

Photo collages: In my most recent project, I have been tearing up old photographs, assembling them in new images, and photographing them.

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.