Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Philjames: 'A Moth in a Chandelier' in the Annex space

Philjames, Number 27, Oil on found vintage print, 400 x 300 mm
Next pop-up show in the Damien Minton Annex (583 Elizabeth St, Redfern) is Philjames, 'A Moth in a Chandelier'. Opening 23rd September 6-8 and running until the 24th September only. Read what Archibald Prize winner Guy Maestri says about Philjames' work below:

Philjames's art can be on one hand playful, even childish, and on the other, arresting, disarming, and shocking. In this body of work Philjames has juxtaposed icons of popular culture into sublime and kitsch landscape paintings sourced from opp shops and skip bins. The results range from comical to apocalyptic. But  he is not engaging in an act of destruction, more like a thoughtful readjustment. An offering of a new vision, or version, of the future.  Many of the protagonists in Philjames's paintings include people dressed in super hero suits, dumped in these alien worlds. A seemingly bizarre and incongruous act, these people in a second skin, unnatural in nature. Yet strangely poignant. Philjames is well aware of the world we live in. This is man vs nature in all our clumsy, unnatural glory.

Philjames often bolts these works to public walls, literally offering his art to the people, to be considered by those who may not generally consider art, and to encourage response and interaction. They get tagged, smashed, scarred and often stolen, but these are artworks which weren't Philjames's to begin with. He puts his hand to them, and releases them back into the wild. Some of them survive and are included in this exhibition, as works of anonymous collaboration.

I travelled through China with Philjames. All along the way he would pull out his pen and make "thoughtful adjustments" to signs, posters, graffiti etc. Or just leave small offerings for the hell of it. For example, on a riverboat on the Yangtze river he planted a small pink penis on a print of a manicured, english garden hanging on the wall of our cabin. I like to think it would still be there. Largely unnoticed, offering occasional amusement or bewilderment the unsuspecting traveller. Art for the people!

- Guy Maestri

View a selection of the works on our website