Reverend Peter John Silvia, a.k.a. Pete Silvia, a.k.a. Pet Silvia, born December 7, 1953, is an american poet, artist, and musician.
Raised in Newark New Jersey by his maternal grandparents since age two, Silvia grew up during a time when truth, freedom, and love seemed more abundant. That would be the 1960's. He began drawing, writing, and playing guitar at an early age and had an equal desire and talent for all three.
He attended Arts High School, (Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art), in Newark, a vocational school for art and music and excelled at his art classes and gradually failed miserably at all other academics, except English literature. He dropped out in his senior year growing weary of school authority, and the novelty of a first name basis with the vice-principal, whom he was sent to almost daily, wore off after awhile. He loved all his art teachers, and his mechanical drawing teacher, who said he had taken the curriculum farther than anyone else in the schools history.
Beginning a professional music career in the late 1960's, Silvia was a finalist in the WABC radio "Big Break" talent show at Carnegie Hall in New York when he was sixteen. He performed at many venues during the 1970's including a few nights at the legendary CBGB's in downtown Manhattan. He left the music business after being fired from a nightclub on his birthday in 1978, though he did perform during the mid eighties for a time.
He worked at the Newark Public Library, which lasted for nearly 15 years, starting out as a 'book stack boy', to head clerk of the U.S. Government Documents Division, and graduating to the manager of Photographic Services five years prior to the time of his leave in 1985.
Silvia was a member of the Newave comix movement which was mostly organized, published and inspired by Clay Geerdes and his Comix World newsletter out of Berkeley California. There were many works both self-published and cartoon pages published by Geerdes of many important mini comics artists during the late seventies and early eighties.
His self published Electric Pete Comix, and other mini comix and books were done between 1979 and 1984. Other books and photographic portfolios were made during the 80's, 90's and more recently several books of selected poetry since 2013.
Begining in 1985, he lived off of his meager pension money for a while, living with his mother, half brother and half sister for the first time for several years. He came into the employ of several printing reproduction houses in Morristown N.J. on the night shift and rose to position of manager within six months on both accounts, about five years each.
His radical paintings which incorporated transferred xeroxed images and paint on canvas, were shown in various galleries in New Jersey and New York. His works and interviews were featured on the Joe Franklin Show, and an MTV News segment introduced by Kurt Loder in 1989.
Between 1989 and 1996 he had many of his works published in the I.S.C.A. Quarterly, (The International Society of Copier Artists), where the art of the copier/Xerox print was elevated to fine art status years before the advent of digital Giclée fine art prints. These works of original signed and numbered limited edition artist prints were hand collated and sent to many prestigious museum collections world wide. I.S.C.A. was the brain child and labor of love published by Louise Neaderland, one of the great unsung heroes and champions of art and printmaking.
He met his future wife in Columbus Ohio in early 1995, and lived with her in a tiny apartment in Manhattan for over ten years. During this time, he did commercial work painting murals, constructing architectural models, and designing murals with wide digital format printers.
He had a television show, The Malignant Muse, on Manhattan Cable Network, which gained a cult following in 1997-1999. Performing on the show in drag, and interviewing unknown artists to promote their work, he poked fun at the well known artists because, "they deserved it". This was the period when he went by the name, Pet Silvia. He also had another character named Art Larck, who did a 3-5 minute segment each week called Instructional Painting the Post-Modern Way with your host Art Larck. Silvia donned a black soul patch, shades and reversed cap with a look that combined elements of Beat, Hippie, and Hip-Hop cultures.
He started to curate art exhibitions of many of these artists starting out in the basement of a tattoo shop on Canal Street in NYC, Sacred Body Art Emporium, and then in a gallery that him and his wife ran in Mid-town Manhattan, called Art @ Large. Many prominent underground and erotic artists exhibited there including: HR Giger, Annie Sprinkle, Charles Gatewood, Spider Webb, John John Jesse, Carolyn Weltman, Steven Johnson Leyba, Frances Turner, L.A. Willette, Andy Kane, Sorayama, Gidget Gein, Tom of Finland, and even a horse who painted with a brush in his mouth from Nevada named Cholla.
He has been interviewed in many magazines, newspapers, videos and TV shows within his capacity as curator, and also worked closely with such organizations as the Tom of Finland Foundation, Seattle Erotic Art Festival, the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation, and many other venues. He has written for books published on the works of artists whom he had working relationships with.
Most occupations in no particular order: artist, musician, writer, printer, draftsman, model maker, fine art photographer, sports photographer, yearbook photographer, wedding photographer, portrait photographer, archivist, library clerk, model, limo driver, guitar inspector, insurance clerk, delivery boy, muralist, porn actor, xerox operator, cartoonist, exhibitor, display installer, prop builder, graphic designer, drag queen, TV host, webmaster, gallerist, curator, mat-cutter, picture framer, deli counter worker, poet, diorama builder, performance artist, print shop manager, business manager, actor, bookkeeper, painter, sculptor, fine art print maker, book stack boy, vocalist, bass player, guitarist, sound engineer, director, blueprint operator, artist representative, lecturer, publisher, cook, home repairer, carpenter, ordained reverend.
A few years ago, Silvia moved from New York to Kansas, and endures through this life questioning the insanities of this world and the motherfuckers who would own it.