I might not be a good person but at least I’m a good painter
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Mindy Solomon Is pleased to present the Miami debut solo exhibition of Dublin based artist Philip Gerald. Colorful, humorous and irreverent, Gerald references historical works in order to create his own interpretation of the role of the artist in society. Not afraid to shy away from “potty humor’ and the absurd, Gerald brings into focus a new way of revisiting “sacred cows” and making them more approachable for those inclined to enjoy a good laugh. Gerald writes of his work:
“The painting side of my work centers around recreating digital drawings on canvas with paint. I’m interested in these crappy (faux-naïf) aesthetics that are associated with basic computer drawing programs like Microsoft Paint and proliferated by meme culture. I’ve always found something intrinsically humorous about crude computer drawings and that’s what draws me to this way of working because humor is such a large part of my overall work. The digital image itself has always seemed so disposable to me and something without much value; in the sense that it can be recreated and reworked infinitely due to the nature of the program its created in. In contrast an image (a painting) on canvas has always seemed more precious because of its finiteness or its uniqueness. This I think has more to do with how one (me) relates with images, rather than any facts or truths of the images themselves.
This is invariably a personal consequence of growing up in an era where the shift from analog to digital was something lived. Transferring a digital image to a canvas elevates it in a way – it makes the disposable precious but in doing so it rids it of everything that made it digital. It makes the infinite, finite. Particularly when viewed on a virtual platform (instagram) the paintings look identical to their digital counterparts but are in fact hand painted physical objects, traits which don’t translate to a digital platform just as the digital traits don’t translate to the physical platform. There is a pointlessness that is borderline absurd which I like but I don’t think it makes the work totally useless – but it does bring into question how one relates to and values the digital images. ”
With a particular interest in Vincent Van Gogh, Gerald juxtaposes the famous “Sunflower” series alongside paintings of the frustrated artist. This lively, visually stimulating narrative tells a contemporary story about the challenges of the creative process for the twenty-first century.
About Philip Gerald
Philip Gerald paints in a faux-naïf style that replicates the aesthetic of simplistic digital illustration. His irreverent paintings frequently allude to canonical works from art history, drawing on everything from Old Master still lifes to David Hockney’s iconic, sensually charged pool paintings. Using acrylic and airbrush paint, Gerald embraces a fluorescent palette that imbues his work with a joyful and childlike spirit.
These colors emphasize the nostalgic undertones of his scenes, which evoke the heydays of clip art and Microsoft Paint. Gerald explores the dichotomy of digital and material art and their associated or perceived values in his practice. In addition to paintings, he also creates videos that parody the whims of the art worldand art market. He has exhibited in Paris, Amsterdam, and New York City.