Society Dreams: Peter Marino

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Taking a siesta on Riverside Drive. Photo: JH.

Friday, June 28, 2024. A very sunny pleasant day in New York yesterday with the temps at 80 or so, followed by much the same — although perhaps slightly cooler to begin the pre-Fourth Weekend (or should I say “Week” as the actual “Fourth” holiday is officially next Thursday). It used to be that the first two weeks of July were the most celebrated vacation dates in America. I’m not sure if that tradition is still celebrated for many but we can be sure the resorts and beaches will be busy.

Peter Marino, today.

Today Lauren Lawrence is interpreting a dream of Peter Marino, the international architect residing here in New York whose work — mainly for corporate and retail business — is prominently seen all across the world from Manhattan to Los Angeles, to Tokyo, Korea, Istanbul, to Paris, London and more to Southampton, New York.

He is also famous for his art collections which range from Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities to Baroque bronzes to paintings to sculpture to photography. A long time admirer of “house museums” (like the Morgan and the Frick), his collections are mostly housed in the former home of the Rogers Memorial Library and the Parrish Art Museum which he transformed and opened to the public three years ago.

Here in New York Mr. Marino is highly recognizable fashion-wise with what he calls his “tattooed biker look” featuring most black clothing, leather with buckles and studs and a leather cap. Over the last two decades there have been not a few public black tie dinners, or even walks along Fifth or Madison Avenues, where he has been present and seen in that favorite costume; the compleat artist and architect.

Lauren’s note about acquiring his dream: “Had dinner with Peter and friends years back in 1990 at Via Quadronno. Dreams were discussed so I knew to reach out to him later on in 2003 when I was gathering dreams for the sequel to Private Dreams of Public People. I loved his dream, and when his photo arrived I was happily surprised to see was in pjs and bathrobe rather than in his usual black leather motorcycle garb!”

Peter Marino in his PJs. Photo credit: Francois Halard.

by Lauren Lawrence

The Dream: I have these epic dreams … you know, of Spartacus, or the Ten Commandments. In the best epic dream I’ve had I am wrestling with a Minotaur figure. (During this, I’m thinking I am glad I’ve been working out, or I’d be crushed!)

He flips me, and he’s growing and getting bigger and bigger. I’m saying “Oh my G – –” but I can’t get the word out. After several tries I say, “I can’t say God in front of you because you are Satan.” Then the Minotaur says, “I am the greatest force of evil there is, and you have no chance of winning.” I can’t talk at all, so I make the sign of the cross and beeline for his legs and topple him. He goes into this sinkhole into the Earth. I’m looking down this black hole, at this crater with smoke, and I say “I can get you with symbols.”

The Interpretation: The dream is epic because it deals with the universal struggle: Wrestling one’s inner demon to the ground. For Marino is the Minotaur grappling with a part of himself. No easy task, this. The bull confronts the problem head on, horns raised, while the man uses his head. He thinks, he reasons. The dreamer knows he is fit for the struggle – he’s been working out! But one understands the real exercise has been cerebral rather than physical.

Architects are concerned with making something rise, not sink. With construction, not destruction. But this is what evil does: It flips you by reversing the natural order of things. It overwhelms, encompasses, and brings doubt — it makes you believe you cannot win. It presents sinkholes — ground you cannot build on. Winning comes through self recognition; knowing thine enemy. The symbolic sign of the cross topples the beast into a black hole, a strong gravitational force that not even light can escape from, let alone darkness. In this view, the symbol, the visual representation, is what saves the dreamer. As such, the visual presentation is stronger than the word.

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