Artist of the Month: Philip Cole
1 How long have you been at Phoenix?
Goodness, it has been over 15 years. I was the first person to take on the particular corner of the 4th floor south after it had just been partitioned up into spaces. There was a lot of clearing up to do and graffiti to paint over although I’ve kept a tiny section of wall as a reminder of what it was once like.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on two more Ultra-Peripheral paintings similar to the UP-portrait with red, tangerine & magenta) shown here. They are investigations into other possible colour relationships in this particular variation series.
3. Which media do you like to use?
Predominantly Polystyrene resin, added and subtracted.
4. Which other artists do you admire?
I generally admire most artists but especially Douglas Coupland, Tom Friedman, Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Tim Head, Gerhard Richter, Sigma Polke, James Turrell, Vanessa Jackson, Ian Davenport, Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald.
‘Art is the thinking you think about most’ – I found this written in one of my brother’s sketchbooks and this resonates with my own experience and Jon is and has always been an inspiration to me. (see jdwc.org if you fancy seeing his work)
It would be unsurprising to note that I enjoy looking at and thinking about work that tends to be thought of as minimalist.
5. What would you recommend to go see?
Loosely – a book: ‘The daily Practice of Painting’ by Gerhard Richter. Particularly, I try to regularly visit ONCA Gallery, Brighton. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Phoenix Brighton. Black Shed Gallery, Robertsbridge. Project 78 Gallery, St Leonards on Sea. Turps Gallery, London. If you ever get the opportunity to travel to Japan don’t miss Naoshima art island.
6. Is there a piece of work you’re particularly proud of?
I recently finished a painting called Top Twenty (everything is wrong) It is a painting of a wordsearch of the world’s top 20 Billionaires according to Forbes List. I made up the wordsearch using an online tool and then added to it. This then became my sketch for the painting. The painting itself appears to be an enlarged copy but it is actually made from hand cast and laser cut letters incorporated into a poured and painted white polystyrene field. The painting reflects and questions our fascination with status and success and I think it is quite … unusual. I am also now working on 20 small single colour field paintings of the billionaires along with some matching target paintings.
For more about Philip, see his website.
Take a look at the Artist of the Month archive here and make sure to check back next month to see who’s featured!