All the drawings in Phantom are found images that have been assembled into a collection of pictures that are less about debunking the documentary myth of photography than they are about utilizing what is at hand to create a personal menagerie. While we understand that images are used to manipulate, the artist takes these images and alters them for his own pleasure. There is an interest in the nebulous nature of depiction that leads into a place of uncertainty. Among this batch of drawings are two derived from the same source image. One is a manipulation of details in a photo of Brazilian prisoners who have been corralled on the roof of a prison after a riot, and the second further reduces the same visual information and presents the subject as residual abstraction. The working process is very slow and a day’s work often results in only a few inches of graphite on the paper’s surface. There is a continual struggle with craft, and as the artist noted, “I will disavow my relationship with technique until the end.”
Jerry Phillips lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and was born in Marshalltown, IA in 1958. He attended Florida State University, Tallahassee, for his BA, and California Institute of Arts for his MFA, 1993. He has made six solo exhibitions with Feature Inc., his first being in 1997.