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Peter Kitchell was born in Cambridge, MA, in 1950 to parents who were architects and artists. Painting was something that he became familiar with at a young age. His formal training began when he was five years old at the Modern Art and DeYoung Museums in San Francisco. He then continued his education at the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts. Peter and his friends founded a light show company. Their company performed at the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballrooms. They accompanied groups such as the “Righteous Brothers” and “Big Brother and the Holding Company.”

In the late 1960s, with traditional structures collapsing in American and European colleges, Peter embarked on a search for primal culture. He traveled to North Africa in the winter, arriving in Morocco and crossing into Algeria. From there, he journeyed down through Niger, across the Sahara, to the Savannah and Gold Coast. Despite falling ill and losing weight, he continued to draw or paint the people and landscapes he encountered daily. With language being a barrier, his artwork often served as his only means of communication. He lived among Berber tribes, devout Muslims, and ancient matriarchal societies. He painted there the pieces that would be featured in his first solo show back in the Bay Area in the early 1970s.

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