peter cole

thestreetofgold is the website of Brooklyn-based artist Peter Cole. here you will find his works, influences, passions and projects.

spring 2014 residency at the Museum of Arts and Design nyc

After the maker faire, I was invited to apply for this program, which awards a residency in the museum's glass walled artist studio, one day a week for four months. a large empty vitrine awaits me when I arrive, which I populate according to my feelings that morning.  

new portfolio on cargo collective

now that preserve24 is finished, I need more work.  I created a new portfolio that's more concise than this website, and invite you to see it.  if you know of anyone who can use my services, please contact me.  please see:

maker faire new york 2013

I was invited this year to participate in my first Maker Faire, and it was awesome!  the only bad thing about it was that since I was an exhibitor, I couldn't spend much time roaming around and seeing the myriad cool projects that people from around the globe brought to show, demonstrate and sell.  In deference to the Maker theme, I decided to show a cross section of my sculpture from the last 24 years, and ended up with a thrilling arc of objects that prompted many many photographs and some great viewer interactions.  click on the photograph below for more images, or click the tab "new work"


I commend the staff of maker faire for their impeccable organization and complete trust in the efforts of its participants.  I cannot recommend it more highly, and invite anyone who has ever been a child to attend next year's faire.

maker faire installation. about nine feet tall by eighteen feet wide

Related News: The Horse Project, Portland

among the fine people I met at Maker Faire, Scott Wayne Indiana began tying toy horses to the vintage horse rings in Portland, Oregon in 2005.  it is playful, provocative, elegant, and despite scott's absence, continues to this day in semi-mysterious fashion.  click the equine friend below for the website documenting this.


click for more images

some two years ago my friend brian goggin asked me to be his right hand man in the construction of a 6000 square foot restaurant functioning as an art installation.  wait, I got that backwards: it's actually an immersive, site-specific sculpture that functions as a restaurant. the above photograph shows a view as we first saw it one snowy day.

and this is nearly that same view now.  the boxed in columns were liberated, the floors clad in antique factory floors, the staircase significantly enlarged, and all traces of sheetrock expunged.


happy holidays 2013

why 108?

my love for the number 108 began in Turkey in late 1987, when I noticed old men spinning and clicking their omnipresent strings of prayer beads in their hands. when I wanted to know if there were a fixed number of beads in a string, I was gravely told there were.  I borrowed one lovely set of ebony and silver beads and found they numbered 108. I borrowed another and found the same.  while not understanding why, I was simply content to understand that 108 was a kind of full circle.  travelling on to India, I found the same number on their strings of holy beads, and became interested to see when other 108's would pop up.


in 1992 in Boulder, Colorado I became a school bus driver, where we drivers used the radio all day, identifying ourselves only by our bus number. Guess what bus they gave me? yes! I was gratified every day to say "base, this is 108", and hear the dispatcher's answer, "108, go ahead".  for a full year I happily answered to my favorite number. when the next school year rolled around, there was an equal chance of being assigned any of 160 buses, but they gave me 108, and I happily answered them again.


I finally remembered that my childhood zip code was 93108, so understanding that the seeds of this lovely number were planted early in my brain. quick research uncovered that it is a sacred number in hinduism, buddhism and other eastern religions. The individual numbers 1, 0, and 8 are one thing, nothing, and everything (infinity). 108 thus represents the ultimate paradoxical reality of the universe as being simultaneously singular, empty and infinite. there are 108 shrines to goddesses in varanasi india, for example, and collections of 108 footprints of the buddha depicted in many places.


While not as fanatical about collecting images or series of 108 as I once was, I still smile when I see my number in the world, and will soon get around to posting a collection of 108 of the many more than that I have collected. the above image is from the williamsburg flea market, april 8, 2012.  I didn't buy the bag it was attached to.

doors and walls and windows

click on the patchwork house below for this year's photo essay in playa del carmen, mexico.  shot in early march 2012, the focus is on handmade facades and entries of houses.  while a poverty of means enforces a patchwork style, the resulting layers of materials, treatments, ages, paintings and weathering is quite visually rich. the temperate climate allows for relatively comfortable living on a pared down level.


mattress cover repair. click on me for more

I am a big fan of fixing things, and love to notice things that others have repaired as well. the more obvious, clunky or unusual the repair, the better. About fifteen years ago I began a short-lived sculptural series of badly-repaired crockery. I now notice that I need to fix my scanner, so please disregard the uneven quality of these crappy scans.

a brief history

I began my career as a sculptor at seven years old, combining dirt dug up from our yard in africa and two thorns from the hedge, to make a clay bull of lasting power and presence.  I was also a collector at this time. Finding a variety of smashed animals on the dirt road, I let them dry and harvested bits of bone and tooth. a famous small essay survives from that time, dictating the organization and staffing of my future studio, the last line of which reads  "my wife will do the reptiles".


we are currently vendors at The Brooklyn Flea, and it's our job to find value in the cast-off.  it is a fascinating process, and entails an ongoing and ever-changing debate about value and worth, a debate which necessarily encompasses all kinds of factors among the participants, like age, class, upbringing, country of origin, to begin with.  in my early twenties I exhibited wrapped and nailed sculptures covered in tar, and one enthusiastic and possibly drunk visitor slurred loudly "hey you turn shit into shinola!  you could use that as your fuckin slogan!"  well, thanks.

happy happy new new

I am also a collector of vintage and found photographs. indeed, sharing them with the public was my initial impetus to build a website, so here I am, a couple years later, with the first batch, all taken from an album I call cinema. most photographs are dead: the photographer is framing people he/she knows, and is blind to what goes on around them, except perhaps to center the subject and put it in front of a landmark or something else recognizable. the result is yet another picture of a wife, or baby, or car, monument, birthday party or beach holiday that are virtually interchangeable with millions of others showing nearly the same thing.  I consider the photos in this collection to be alive, to express an exciting fragment of a larger world and energies beyond the frame. late december 2011. 


I added women and wheels and the inelegantly-named postcard sized to the collection of collections. march 2012.



click on found photographs for a preview.


actually it's way, way better than press...deep and extensive. my friend iki nakagawa made a video of me, and it documents the strategies my family and I utilize to survive in the world, at this time. please visit to see it.