Friday, December 19, 2014

Art Basel Miami 2014

Scope Art Fair's Pavilion on the beach
Scope Art Fair is quite literally on the beach.
It's been a really fun year. Fittingly, the last art event of 2014 was an exhibition at Scope Art Fair Miami with Hashimoto Contemporary, as part of Art Basel Miami Beach. With 29 satellite fairs and countless pop-up shows in addition to the main fair, Art Basel is always a crazy week to say the least. It was incredible to be able to participate in an event that showcases just how broad the scope of today's art world truly is.

I created four pieces for the exhibition, and while we only had room to hang two, the response from visitors was beyond invigorating.

Hashimoto Contemporary's booth at Scope Art Fair
Other exhibitors at Hashimoto's booth included Shawn Huckins, Handiedan, Crystal Wagner and Scott Scheidly.

Scope Art Fair's VH1 Lounge
The view from Scope's VH1 lounge could have been better.

Mommalisa and Yogi by Joel Daniel Phillips at Scope Art Fair Miami Beach 2014
 (L) Mommalisa (R) Yogi  |  Both works 42x94in, Charcoal & Graphite on paper

A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and say hello. It was a complete blast meeting so many wonderful art lovers, patrons and aficionados. I find myself stepping into 2015 with more excitement and energy than is probably safe.

Jim Shearer and Swizz Beats visit the booth
(L) Jim Shearer featuring my and Shawn Huckin's work on VH1's top 20 countdown. (R) Swizz Beats stopped by to say hi.

There is already a lot on the books for next year, stay tuned for shows in New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Miami to start. 

Happy New Year, everyone.


January 2015 | Supersonic Invitational 4 | Spoke Art Gallery | San Francisco, CA 
February 2015 | Molskine IIII | Hashimoto Contemporary   San Francisco, CA
March 2015 | Scope Art Fair NY | Hashimoto Contemporary | New York, NY 
May 2015 | Art Market San Francisco | Hashimoto Contemporary | San Francisco, CA

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Am Another Yourself

After spending almost 1/3 of the year working entirely on this body of work, I was both delighted and relieved at the wonderfully positive response to my solo show, 'I Am Another Yourself' at Hashimoto Contemporary this Sept. Apparently I wasn’t quite excited enough to be better at keeping up with my blog, however.

Featuring a range of new charcoal and graphite portraits, the exhibition was my attempt at shedding light on those who are frequently overlooked and unidentified.

I Am Another Yourself, Joel Daniel Phillips

Lucky, Maurice and Tinesha. All works 42x94in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

​(R to L) Lucky, Maurice and Tinesha. All works 42x94in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper

The show featured 14 new works, varying in scale from my usual life-size drawings to several smaller, more compact pieces. 

Gypsy, Kent and Spaceman O.T. #3 All works 42x94in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

​(R to L) Gypsy, Kent and Spaceman O.T. #3 All works 42x94in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper

I created most of the works while participating in an art residency in Taos, New Mexico this summer at the Helene Wurlizter Foundation. The time was both productive and peaceful, and in the moments not in the studio I was able to enjoy wonderful conversations with 10 other residents who ranged in practice from composers to writers to fellow visual artists. 

In residence at the Helene Wurlizter Foundation, Taos, NM

My casita was nestled among Cottonwood and Willow trees. ​I'm already missing the beautiful studio space looking out into the forest

In addition to the large works, I also created several smaller drawings. I kicked and screamed a bit when my curator suggested this as I love the life-size scale of my usual pieces so much. However, I ended up deeply enjoying the process making smaller pieces and felt like I was able to focus more on the mark-making in the works.

Joel Daniel Phillips at work in his studio in Taos, NM

​Laura, in progress. (Final drawing 12x23in)

Billy, Laura and Alice. All works 12x23in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

(R to L) Billy, Laura and Alice. All works 12x23in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper

I went into the residency feeling tired and a bit burnt out. Ironically, after a summer of working 14-16 hours almost every day I came back to the Bay feeling rested, rejuvenated and in love with the process of drawing again.

Preston, Billy. Both works 16x20in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

R to L) Preston, Billy. Both works 16x20in, Charcoal & Graphite on Paper

A few photos from the opening night at Hashimoto Contemporary, courtesy of Mark Semegen

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary

"I Am Another Yourself" Opening Night Photo at Hashimoto Contemporary
 A huge thanks to everyone who supported my work and purchased pieces from the show. I quite literally couldn't do any of this without you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recent and (not so) Recent Art Happenings

I think I need an intern. Preferably one who possesses a Masters in marketing. Recently it seems I haven't had the time to update much of anything besides the occasional instagram post, and hence this tragically belated novel of a blog post

Last year finished out with a wonderful bang, and I had the honor of traveling to Art Basel Week in Miami with Hashimoto Contemporary. I brought along four works which were shown at the Scope Art Fair on the dazzling sand (literally) of Miami beach. 

Drawings by Joel Daniel Phillips at Scope Art Fair, Miami

The show was a wonderful success, and I was ecstatic to hear that my works were sold out as I stepped onto the plane back to San Francisco halfway through the fair week. It was an incredible experience seeing so much of international art world in one place. Having the ability to gain a bird's-eye view of what is currently happening in contemporary art was equal parts inspiring and intimidating.

Drawings by Joel Daniel Phillips at Scope Art Fair, Miami

I created two life-size works for the show, in addition two 18x24" portraits. The works are continuing my ongoing body of work 'No Regrets in Life'. I particularly enjoyed drawing my second portrait of Spaceman O.T. (on the far right), a recurring subject who has begun to spread his fabulous cult of personality outside of my immediate neighborhood. If you venture through the Tenderloin or Mid-Market neighborhoods soon, be on the lookout for a gruff, wheelchair-bound gentleman with a motorcycle helmet doing something completely contrary to your expectations. These activities include, but are not limited to, directing rush-hour traffic with a rape whistle and sweeping the sidewalk while simultaneously making light-saber noises and humming the Star Wars Theme.

Robert with a Horse. Charcoal and Graphite Drawing on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips
Robert with a Horse. Charcoal and Graphite Drawing on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

The months since Basel have been mostly filled with commissioned work. More than a year ago I was sitting on a milk crate talking to my friend Robert. In the midst of the conversation he paused, pointed over my shoulder to the downtown San Francisco sidewalk, and asked: "do you see that horse?" At that exact moment the unforgettable scent of alfalfa struck my nose. I turned, impossibly expecting that there would somehow be a horse on the busy sidewalk at the corner of 6th and Mission.

I didn't see one, but I'm still not sure whose sense of reality was correct. I've been wanting to make a drawing of Robert with a horse ever since I had this experience. A huge thanks to the collectors for their generous enabling this exploration of perception, imagination and reality.

Recent Commissioned Work
I had a blast installing the finished and framed piece in the collector's stairwell.

The above piece was created from a reference supplied by the collector, and it was fun to work from an image shot by a different set of hands. The subject was a street vendor in Bhutan. I particularly enjoyed working on the luscious folds of his gho (traditional Bhutanese shirt). I was also made a bit jealous of his wonderful hat. If anyone knows where I can purchase one like it I would be ecstatic.

Nate / Buzzard luck, Charcoal and Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips
Nate / Buzzard luck, Charcoal and Graphite on Paper by Joel Daniel Phillips

Finally, another recent commission was of Nate, a subject-turned-friend who lives in my back alley. Nate is a U.S. Army veteran, artist and closet philosopher. The piece was accompanied by text with one of my favorite sayings of Nate's: "There's no luck, there's good luck, there's bad luck and there's buzzard luck."


Mar 8 - Mar 29, 2014:  "In Dreams" a David Lynch Tribute |  Spoke Art Gallery  |  San Francisco, CA
June 6 - July, 2014:  Empty Kingdom Group Show  |  111 Minna Gallery  |  San Francisco, CA
Sept 2014: Solo Exhibition | Hashimoto Contemporary | San Francisco, CA

Monday, February 3, 2014

Red Rising: Building the World

Something going on two years ago, I sat down for a glass of scotch and a pipe smoke with my older brother's roommate from college. I had met the infamous Pierce Brown before, but my limited and hasty first impressions led me to a wayward and thoroughly off-base decision that I wasn't much of a fan of this Pierce character.

Several glasses of scotch and two bowls of Matt's Blend later, I realized just how wrong I was. We talked art, dreams, creative visions, and most memorably about Pierce's recently finished novel: Red Rising. We dreamed about creative collaboration, and how someday, once Pierce was published, I would create art for the book. Sigils for colors and paintings of space battles danced in my dreams.

On January 28th, Red Rising was officially offered to the public via Random House. True to his word, Pierce allowed me the honor of helping to visualize some of the world he created, and for the last year+ I've been working with the wonderful folks over at Random House to design elements for the Red Rising book.

I don't normally post my design work on this blog, but it was such a fun project that I thought I might as well.

Red Rising

The first piece I worked on was a poster. Red Rising is set in a world where humanity has spread to colonize the solar system. In this future empire, society is stratified into color coded castes with Golds on top and Reds providing the forced labour that enables the society to function. The project was to design a Gold propaganda poster that has been defaced by 'terror' cell seeking to overthrow the class system.

The next piece I worked on was the map for the interior of the book. The book follows Darrow, a member of the lowest caste in a color-coded society, as a personal tragedy causes him to be thrown into a dangerous quest that requires him to infiltrate the highest caste of society in an effort to take them down from within. This journey lands Darrow in the Elite Gold academy, The Institute, where Gold children are sent to ruthlessly battle each other for domination. Those who come out on top win the best placements and postings throughout the empire.

The children are split up into Houses, and part of the map design was inventing crests for each house. 

Here's a higher quality image of the map as well. 

The next bit of the project was designing sigils for each of the fourteen colors of Pierce's world. Almost colors are rooted in alchemical symbols - Red is tied to the the alchemical symbol or Iron and Mars, Gold off of Gold, and so on. 

The Red Sigil, playing with the
 alchemical symbol for Iron/Mars

The Gold Sigil

The Blue Sigil. Blues are the navigators
and pilots in the spacefaring society.

The White Sigil. Whites are the doctors of
Pierce's world. 

The Violet Sigil. Violets are the
artists and creators in Red Rising.

The Silver Sigil. Silvers are the third tier,
tinpot police and soldiers who keep the lower
colors living in fear. 

A look at all of the color symbols from Red Rising side by side.

The Red Sigil even ended up on the spine of the book!

I've had a complete blast so far working with Pierce and the wonderful folks over at Random House on this project. It's certainly a dream come true, and I'm ecstatic that this is the 1st of a trilogy as I can't want to take a crack at the next two.

A huge thanks to Pierce Brown, Joe Scalora and Caroline Cunningham.

Friday, November 22, 2013

AMC's The Walking Dead

Also belated. below are a few images from the AMC's The Walking Dead show at Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles. 

Daryl Dixon drawing by Joel Daniel Phillips
Daryl  |  42x94in  |  2013  |  Charcoal and Graphite on Paper

For the show I created a lifesize drawing of Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus. It was a blast working on this show, and I was able to be at the opening in person and meet some amazing Los Angeles art aficionados and Walking Dead fans.

Daryl Dixon drawing by Joel Daniel Phillips

Daryl Dixon prints by Joel Daniel Phillips
Limited Edition prints of the Daryl drawing

Hero Complex also made a 40 piece limited edition series of 12x24" prints of my piece for the show. In an exciting turn of events, Norman Reedus (the wonderful actor behind the character as well as Boondock Saints) saw the piece on the interwebs and stopped by the gallery for a print. As of this writing there are a few prints left, located here.

A big thanks to the folks at AMC and the fabulous Adam Smasher of Hero Complex Gallery for inviting me to participate. Stay tuned for more shows with them next year!

Belated Beyond Eden

Far overdue, but better late than never! Here's a quick walkthrough of October's Beyond Eden Art Fair in Los Angeles with Hashimoto Contemporary. The fair was a blast, and included artists from Hashimoto ContemporaryThinkspace GalleryCopro Gallery and C.A.V.E Gallery

Blue with a Bicycle | 60x65in | Charcoal and Graphite on Paper | 2013

Blue is one of the most present members in the social fabric that makes up my neighborhood. Always cruising around the block on his chosen mode of transportation, the 6th and Mission mainstay is a delightful combination of gruff and humor-filled. I met Blue through the talented artist Hugh Leeman, who recently showed an interactive mural work that Blue participated in. Blue and Sam's tent, (below) was a part of the exhibition and gift from Hugh after the exhibit. 

Sam in a Tent | 60x80in | Charcoal and Graphite on Paper | 2013

Sam, Blue's partner, balances Blue's gruffness with a quiet calm. During the initial photo-shoot while Blue danced around swinging his bicycle chain and grinning his ears off, Sam watched quietly with a patient smile. My goal with this diptych was to capture the dynamic interplay between the two. 

Clarissa, Sleeping | 18x24in | Charcoal and Graphite on Paper | 2013

Bernard, Sitting | 16x24in | Charcoal and Graphite on Paper | 2013

For the show I also created two smaller-scale pieces continuing the same series as Sam and Blue. The series, titled Home, is an ongoing exploration of the way Homeless individuals use objects to retain a sense of ownership of their spaces. Feel free to read the full series statement here.