Sep 30th 2022

Peter Evan Costas: Invisible Armada

@ Fracas Gallery

Mana Contemporary Building, 2233 S Throop St. Studio 601, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, September 30th, from 4PM - 7PM

On view through Saturday, November 5th

We are excited to announce the opening of “Invisible Armada” by the Chicago-based artist Peter Evan Costas at Fracas Gallery. “Invisible Armada” opens on Friday, September 30, 4-7 pm, in the Mana Contemporary building, Studio 601. This marks the artist’s debut solo show for the gallery and as a represented artist.

Peter Evan Costas presents photographic & lens-based work informed by his time as a submariner. Deployments to sea spanned weeks, if not months, under 800 ft of the ocean. As the title of the show suggests, beneath the ocean is an invisible armada. These are vessels made to defend. What happens when the vessel entrusted to defend a country becomes a vessel that can’t even protect its crew? The vessel, as Peter describes it, is like a crypt. When emotional and physical hurt occurs during these deployments, sailors are trapped in their submarines. Reality often becomes distorted. Memories of other times and spaces form (are they real or imagined?). The outside world is confined to views from the periscope. For Peter, his senses were numbed by the confinement and the verbal and physical harm that he experienced and saw; yet, they were also heightened, as he relied on his sense of hearing, taste, and smell to intuit his surroundings. In this way, “armada” is also a metaphor for Peter’s collective senses that protected and at times injured his mental and physical being.

Peter returns to historical methods of photography-making to create unique tintypes and cyanotypes that depict the materiality of photography and its importance in a digitally saturated world. Rather than run away from the digital, he uses it to create singular composite portraits using a vast archive of images. Layering images atop other images gives his composite photographs eerie affective depths, as though looking into a whirlpool of fragmented moments—these composites visualize memories taking form.

For more information about the artwork or general questions about the show, please send an email at

Image credit:
“In the Underside of a Mirror #1”
Photograph, Collodion on a copper plate (tintype)
3 x 5 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Fracas Gallery.

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