Cherry in Miami
This painting depicts a light gray cat gazing at its own reflection in the mirror. The result is a two-part composition, each with a different view of the animal: one portion where the cat is staring directly at the viewer; and another where the cat’s back is to the viewer and its head is in profile. The texture and pattern of a bath towel is visible at the bottom of the frame.
Much like Brad Phillips’ critically acclaimed book Essays and Fictions—published by Giancarlo DiTrapano (1974-2021) of Tyrant Books—the artist’s figurative paintings take on a dual identity where truth and untruths are presented side-by-side. Any attempt to categorize Phillips' paintings as mere depictions of his personal and inner life would be an error; however, this is a mistake the artist's work encourages viewers to make. Phillips’ compositions combine the day-to-day reality of life with the artist’s imagination. This duality opens a potent dialogue about the current state of culture—where pictures shared online become currency, signifiers and identities.
Brad Phillips’ artwork explores dark subjects, including addiction, mental illness, mortality and eroticism. The artist’s paintings, ranging from text-based to photorealist, present truths and untruths in tandem. Phillips’s work often playfully references stereotypes of the struggling male artist, inviting viewers to misread his compositions as autobiography—exploring the intersection between dominant cultural readings, lived experience and the imagination.
Brad Phillips, born in 1974, is an artist and writer based in Toronto.
Solo exhibitions of Phillips’ work have taken place at: de boer in Los Angeles, California; Harper’s in New York City; Allen & Eldridge in New York City; CSA Space in Vancouver, Canada; Wallspace in New York City; James Fuentes in New York City; Groeflin Maag Galerie in Zurich, Switzerland; Rod Bianco Gallery in Oslo, Norway; and Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City; among others.
Two-person exhibitions of Phillips’ work have taken place at: Anat Egbi in Los Angeles, California (with Cristine Brache); and Working Title in Toronto, Canada (with Sojourner Truth Parsons).
Group exhibitions that have shown Phillips’ work have taken place at: Nino Mier Gallery in Los Angeles, California; Galerie Sebastien Bertrand in Geneva, Switzerland; Signs & Symbols in New York City; Jessica Bradley in Toronto, Canada; The Hole in New York City; M + B in Los Angeles, California; and Galerie de l’UQAM in Montreal, Canada.
Phillips’ first book of short stories, Essays and Fictions, was published in 2019 by Tyrant Books. Writing about Phillips and his work has appeared in various publications, including: Autre Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Purple Fashion Magazine, Mousse, Art Forum, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, Whitehot, Frieze Magazine, Bordercrossings, The Art Newspaper, and Canadian Art.