Joel Daniel Phillips

The only way to truly understand something is to draw it.”–Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier)

This is the center of my work—an attempt to sincerely grasp what I see around me through the tip of a pencil and a piece of charcoal. At its root, the act of drawing necessitates a concentrated study of not only the physical attributes of the subject, but the emotional as well. We live in a world that digests images at an exponentially increasing rate. This consummate consumption, while allowing for an expanding digestion of momentary knowledge, forces a reconsideration of the value of labor within the artistic sphere. My process is inherently about labor—embracing the labor involved in the painstaking, craft-driven rendering of a subject or moment. However, at a deeper level, my process is about using this labor to force myself and the viewer to truly see something. The rigorous, meditative physical process of observation through draughtsmanship is a means to an end. The end being, for me, a deeper and richer understanding of the world around me and the complexity of its histories.

Joel Daniel Phillips is an American artist whose work focuses on the tenets of classical draftsmanship employed in monumental formats. Inspired by the depth and breadth of human experience, he strives to tell the personal and societal histories etched in the faces of those around him. Through the tip of his pencil, the artist seeks to find moments where our projected senses of self are transparent, allowing deeper, more truthful emotions to become visible.

Phillips’ work has been exhibited at institutions and galleries across the United States as well as abroad, including the National Portrait Gallery,  Tacoma Art Museum, The Art Museum of South Texas, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and the Philbrook Museum of Art. In 2016 he was the 3rd prize recipient in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery, and the artist is currently a 2017/2018 Fellow at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Phillips drawings have been acquired by the West Collection, the Gilcrease Museum and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.  

Exhibition at Galleri Ramfjord: May 2018