Approaching one of Scott Phillips' paintings is like see the colors of the world for the first time through a car window -- one traveling at 90 mph. Only glimpses of isolated scenes emerge even though you know the whole world is out there.
“Confusion is a good word,” Phillips says in trying to narrow audience interpretation of his art. “The work is a sense of perception you find in yourself.”
Phillips' inaugural solo show, “z-black series,” at Eric Schindler Gallery is a solid representation of a driven artist who pushes himself and his ability daily. A self-described obsessive painter, Phillips works virtually every day in his apartment studio after the reality of day jobs is through. He has a quiet nature, revealing deep thoughts in his complex arrangement of palettes as well as the articulation of his actions.
His work is a movement -- literally. The artist's intentions can be seen in the many layers and changes he works through. “Once you start setting into a pattern you are done. … once you start messing with colors you realize it is infinity and you can always move onto something new.” The movement creates images comparable to a beautiful apocalypse or psychedelic camouflage.
Phillips comes from an artist background. His father and grandfather were both artists and himself attended Virginia Commonwealth University for painting and printmaking. He says he didn't really start painting seriously until after school. His influences come more from comic books then art catalogs. Perhaps that is why idiosyncratic brush stokes define his work. He says his work is a “quiet sense of isolation in a manic field of sorts.” The blurring effects come from his constant challenging of himself. “You have to give everything a rhythm and a flow. … if it is wrong then change the pattern”
While preferring to work large, he has begun to produce scaled-down paintings. “I call the smaller work the ‘sit-downs.' In art school they have you stand when you paint. I find in sitting down you can find your way through your work better, you are more focused. You can prop your arm up and your stroke becomes tighter”
He is constantly painting layers upon layers. “Things get painted over, but they are still there, that is when the ghost effect comes through.” The “ghost effect” is the personal sense of perception Phillips speaks of. Unconsciously hidden in his work are images of people, birds and many airplanes.
“The airplanes are ubiquitous. They are in the sky everywhere. It is like being at a concert surrounded by people, it feels like the whole world is there, then you look up and see a plane flying overhead. The plane is a separation from people.” One can apply this isolated feeling to any given situation, “It reminds you that there are conventions going on in other places as well.”
“Z-black series” by Scott Phillips will be showing at the Eric Schindler Gallery, 2305 E. Broad, through March 9. Call 804-644-5005 or visit ericschindlergallery.com for information.