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."



UPCOMING SHOWS:

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