On his Instagram profile, Playa del Carmen–based artist Peter Terrin states, “Painting is my mistress, my wife, my oxygen, my enemy, my friend…A complete addiction.” This passion is evident in his art—bright, large-scale works, often of women’s faces. With his paint, Terrin creates rich textures and alluring images.
Originally from Belgium, Terrin graduated from Textile Design School and traveled for years before settling in Playa del Carmen. Since then, he’s exhibited around the world, from Miami to Brussels to Monaco.
We spoke with Terrin about what inspires him and the local spots he frequents when he isn’t painting.
How has Playa del Carmen influenced your work?
Playa del Carmen has helped me bring more colour to my work. Mexico is full of colours. The people go mad in their colour choices. You can tell in the way they dress and paint the houses. You find beautiful colors in nature here, as well as in the tropical cocktails and summer dresses of tourists and locals. Here in Playa del Carmen, we always live outside. It’s good living here, which brings you into a different state of mind—happy and colorful.
About six years ago, the local government opened the famous 5th Avenue for local artists. Every Thursday night we now have the ART WALK or CAMINARTE as we call it here. This has opened many doors for me. I remember how a Dutch gallery owner walked up to me while I was showing my art in the art walk and offered me a spot in his gallery. That was the first time I had proper gallery representation.
Because of that, many people from around the world have seen my work. I can truly say that Playa Del Carmen has helped me in spreading my work around the globe. I will be forever grateful.
What are you working on now? Any upcoming shows we should watch out for?
Right now I’m working on my second solo show. It will take place in the city of Merida at the end of December. I am very excited about this because it’s going to take place in a completely different venue as the usual art shows. Currently my team and I are looking for an old ruin, an abandoned colonial house, or an old run down industrial building. It’s my dream to show my colorful paintings in a setting like this. With some good music and catering, I’m sure we can make this work. I’ll be showing about 15 new paintings.
Before that event I’ll be showing some of my current work in the Thompson and Hyatt hotels here in Playa del Carmen. I am busy right now, and that’s exactly the way I like it.
After a long day at the studio, how do you unwind / where in town do you go for drinks, food, etc?
I live and work about 20 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. You can find my studio in a small port in Puerto Aventuras.
When I finish working, I just walk down my studio stairs and go to some local restaurants. It is a small village and everybody knows each other. I always bump into people who are up for a cold beer or some wine.
When I make it to Playa, I love having dinner in a small restaurant called Imprevist. They have a variety of plates that are a fusion of Mexican and Asian cuisine. Or I go to the rooftop bar of the Thompson Hotel to have a margarita. The view up there is spectacular, and it’s always busy with people from around the world. Another favorite is Almirante Pech—great music combined with food and drinks. I also enjoy Plank and El Fogon, a small local place with cheap, excellent Mexican food (try the taco loco).
On Sundays, I try to make the drive to Tulum. I absolutely love the vibe there. It’s still very bohemian, and mass tourism still hasn’t really kicked in. There, I love Ahua because they are pet friendly and I can take my dog Mateo and my mini pig Picasso without having to worry about angry looks. Nomade is a new place that is excellent for food and hanging out. The way they decorated the place is magical. And you can often find me as well in Mezzanine, which serves Asian cuisine. They have breath-taking views. It’s the perfect place to end a Sunday with my girlfriend.