Above: Peter Tunney, working with gold paint in his studio on January 19, 2012
Peter Tunney declared tonight at a group visit to his Tribeca studio that he hates to be called a celebrity. “Just call me an artist, because that’s what I really am.” Sorry, Peter, but it’s too late. You’re already famous to us – especially since spending 300 days of your life living at West Chelsea nightclub Crobar.
Although Tunney is a fixture on the art scene, there are apparently some things most of us do not know about him. For example, did you know that he cannot live without Bounty paper towels? “Of course I love Bounty,” he proclaimed at one point, picking up a white roll and flailing it above his head. “It’s the quicker picker upper!” This announcement came while he was screen printing works of art in front of his fascinated guests at his 70 Franklin Street work space. His studio and office are among the cleanest, most organized working environments I have ever stepped foot in – surprising for a man who spends his days hoarding clippings from newspapers and magazines.
Tunney’s enthusiasm for creating art quickly spread through each one of us as we stood around him in rings of his cigar smoke. Tonight he proved to be the antithesis of the stereotypical introverted artist, exuberantly speaking to the group about his work and life without ever taking his eyes away from his task. I should also mention that his studio and office are among the most organized places He is a celebrity, but he is an artist first and foremost.
Above: The beginnings of a screen print, created by Tunney on January 19, 2012