Monday, March 22, 2010

Pete Doherty featured in Fight News!

From Boxing bug to Shutter bug
Boxer climbs the ranks of Art Photography
by Dave Medd

"For most, a trip to the dentist is the low point of the week; for Pete Doherty, it put him on the road from frustrated amateur boxer to multi-award winning artist. Like his boxing, Pete thought his photography was pretty good. Unlike his boxing, he got his shot to prove it. Someone looked out for him. Someone made him a contender.

Currently, Pete has an exhibit that runs to Saturday, March 20 at Gallery 44 in the 401 Richmond building (401 Richmond St. W.) in downtown Toronto. Not only are the photos excellent, but the building itself is worth a visit. It’s a textbook success in re-imagining an old factory as a vibrant, downtown artistic space. Populated by artists, artisans and galleries of many stripes, there’s something for everyone and likely everything for a particular someone (or two).

Like many artists, it started early for Pete. “As a kid, it’s all I wanted to do: take pictures,” he recalls. “Pictures of friends, pictures of family… It proved you were there and knew these people at that time and it was important to you. Holding a memory in your hand. That was magical as a kid. To me, it still is.”

The natural step after high school was The Ontario College of Art and Design. Upon graduation, however, reality bit and photography slowly took a back seat to amassing work-hours at the blue-collar physical labour he still enjoys to this day and, in the tradition of twenty-somethings, sorting out the man he wanted to become. “I don’t know, it was a strange time. I needed something to change and did it by giving away my camera and throwing out my prints and negatives.”

The place Pete found himself, literally and figuratively, was a boxing gym. “It took me awhile to work up the nerve to go,” he admits. “But when I asked myself what was stopping me, I knew it wasn’t being afraid of getting hurt, it was being afraid of making a fool of myself. I finally figured that’s something I do every second day, so what did I really have to lose? Walking up the stairs to the gym was the best thing I ever did. I loved it immediately.”

Like most who take up boxing, it began as a challenge to himself: to do something he wasn’t sure he could do, something he knew would require time, hard work and some pain. And, it turned out, a lot of shiners. “When I started showing up at work with black eyes guys started to notice. One asked a friend of mine what was up. He told him I had a three hundred pound wife that didn’t like me coming home late...” To continue reading the article please go to