Peter Popart

Text & photos JF. Pierets


Wham!, Boom! and Pow! Pop art is alive and happening and living in Rotterdam. Living amongst posters of Divine, plastic flowers and with a soft spot for John Waters. We talk to painter Peter Popart Radder in his gorgeous house filled with glamour and glitter artifacts. We like! 


Off you go.
I started off as a visual merchandiser and window display creator. After 20 years I decided to fulltime spend my days on painting. I used to make decorations and I always wanted to paint, so here we are.

Out of the closet.
I had my coming out at about 16 and I was lucky enough to fall upon the movie ‘Outrageous’. A movie from ’77 about a frustrated hairdresser. He does hair and makeup for the local drag shows but longs to get up on stage himself. I absolutely loved all those movie characters and longed to meet that kind of scene. When you’re only 16, you need something that triggers you to believe in the future. For me it was that movie. Funny to think that my life evolved in a way that I‘m actually around people who are that weird. Hurray!

Back in the days.
I seems like everything was a bit crazier back then. Take for example Studio 54 or club RoXY or IT in Amsterdam. The atmosphere breathes way more freedom than there is nowadays. I’ve been, and still go to quite some parties, experiencing some very cool stuff. But somethings it feels like you’re undergoing a copy from a copy from yet another copy. We’re living in a very tame era. When I enter a gay bar I see people staring at their mobile phones. That’s not what you call; having a wild time. Everything is quite mediocre. But then again, everything has its own particular wave motion.

I’ve always been attracted to pop art.  I love Warhol, Haring and Lichtenstein and I wanted to make something that I would like to hang on my own walls. You could say that I’m born in the wrong era but I like the fact that some of my work’s spectators, think they are made in the ‘70’s. I like that. Making new things with a retro touch.

Hello Dolly.
My inspiration mostly comes from pop culture, but also from old Hollywood movies, fashion disasters, record covers and disco video clips, you name it. Since I was a child I always wanted to see things that were of the ordinary. Not many weird things happened around me in the early ‘70’s yet I could always find my taste in tv music shows which, in those days, broadcasted clips from The Sweet, David Bowie and Amanda Lear. My preference inclined glamrock videos and the clothes they wore in them. It was pretty amazing to me as a kid.

Lights on.
I had and have quite some exhibitions. One of my favorites was ‘The Non Issue’ in Amsterdam, together with artist Martin C. De Waal. A combination between an expo and a fashion show. I don’t know if I’m aiming for some specific ambition. I love to paint and it’s great if people like my paintings. And of course it would be wonderful to get featured in MoMa, but who wouldn’t like that.



‘Do you think my paintings look gay?’

Big Lesbian.
Next to being a painter I also work as a dj. Our formation is called Thunderpussy and DD King. Needless to say people always expect to see a huge lesbian. We Dj at all kind of different gay parties like Flique and Dee Dee’s Dollhouse. This summer we will perform during Gay Pride on the SIN boat at the Amsterdam Canal Parade.

What’s in a name?
I don’t particularly feel like a gay painter. Do you think my paintings look gay? Ok, the work is very flamboyant and in your face. Some spectators think they are all transvestites instead of women. But that’s alright by me. As long as they are having fun. And yes, maybe it’s a little gay. But let’s say I never thought about it. I’m an artiste darling!

Role models.
My latest series of drawings is based on the fact that there is pretty much fuzz regarding gay rights nowadays. And I’m referring to Russia. After watching the two part BBC documentary ‘Stephen Fry Out There’, I was stunned and shocked by all the vicious homophobia on our little planet! I decided to prove all the haters wrong and celebrate those wacky weird wild and wonderful LGBT people who make and made this world so much more exciting and interesting. There have been so many gay icons in the course of history from which some people don’t even now they were gay.

Fast Forward.
I live one day at the time. Having fun, paint and we’ll see about the rest. There are so many nasty things happening that I want to try to make everyday a party. Seize the day!

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