Eyes of Artists

Brad Phillips

Posted in painters by Corey Presha on October 20, 2009

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– I’ve been really into the painting work of Brad Phillips lately. His first monograph Hope Against Reason was published by TV Books and fits well with the whole Tiny Vices aesthetic. His paintings display a visual diary, consisinting of people, landscapes, and objects.

Brad Phillips takes images from everyday life –women dressing (or undressing), house plants, interior scenes–and uses the familiarity of these circumstances to thread together this seemingly personal narrative. However, Brad Philips paintings cannot be interpreted so simply. Instead of giving us the whole story on each canvas, the artist maintains a level of obfuscation: revealing perhaps the ‘what’ and the ‘where’ of the story line, but leaving, the ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘what for’ open-ended. This injected distanced between the artist and the images allows him to draw upon subject matter that is personal, sexy, and at times even erotic, while still being selective about what he chooses to reveal. Journey into Whatever is exactly what the title implies. The ambiguity of Brad Phillip’s paintings makes his own personal narrative irrelevant. The paintings are not about the artist, but rather about the viewer: the ideas/fantasies that the viewer projects onto each work.

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© Brad Phillips
See more work here.

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Jake Longstreth

Posted in painters by Corey Presha on February 22, 2009

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– I’m pretty out of touch with other parts of the art world other than photography and it is always nice to find an artists working in another medium who’s work I really enjoy. I found Jake Longstreth’s paintings via Rubin Recommends and I fell in love. Longstreth’s realist style reminds of my favorite painter Edward Hopper, though slightly more abstract. Each painting looks like a really great photograph.

The abstraction in a Longstreth picture such as “Sonoma”(2008) seems to both evoke and to result from thin, milky daylight that in Longstreth’s work seens to symbolize depletion of attention, almost as a precursor to a depletion of the real.

Where most photo-based realism, such as that of Richard Estes, implicity describes a sort of heightened alertness to detail, Longstreth’s hints at the bleak possibility of never full coming awake.

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© Jake Longstreth
See more work here