Benjamin Phillips exhibition
I’m pleased to introduce Benjamin Phillips, a young artist who has been working in Capilano University’s Art Institute, first in the sculpture area and now in printmaking. I first met him last year when he presented his sculptures at the Studio Art Gallery. His amazing work and his talk left a most powerful impression on me and many others. Now he is showing some of those sculptures in a gallery in Vancouver, and I hope readers in the area will come out to see his work. Here is the press release:
Opening February 23rd, 2007
Access Artist Run Centre’s Project Room
Are men becoming more feminine in society today?
Are men and women now afraid of acting too masculine or too feminine?
Benjamin Phillips, a 33-year-old Vancouver based sculptor is asking these questions in a solo show at the Access Artist Run Centre’s Project Room at 206 Carrall Street, Vancouver.
Mr. Phillips has degrees in art and comparative religions from the University of Victoria and Acadia University. Over the past three years he has been developing a body of bronze sculptures that draw heavily from references to Greek mythology.
The sculptures reflect his interest in quietly subverting the idealistic traditions we have grown accustomed to in traditional figurative bronze art. “Bronze’s natural permanency,” he states, “suits my interest in recording insights into this subject as an enduring record and as a stimulus for dialogue.”
By using a classical sculptural material, bronze, and drawing heavily from references to Greek mythology, Mr. Phillips challenges traditional representations of male and female forms by reversing our gender-specific stereotypes. “For example, fortitude and self assertion are trademark symbols in art history for masculine expression, while surrender and repose are often reserved for female expression”, he explains. By exchanging these stereotypes, a new context is exposed for inquiry into both the stereotype and the form.
“I realize these can be sensitive, even controversial topics to be addressing, but to not inquire would seem to be denying a very basic aspect of human nature” he states.
The show is called Chthonian Dialogue and opens February 23rd at the Access Artist Run Centre on Carrall Street. It runs until March 15.
*Chthonian is a Greek word associated with a place of spirits and primal emotions deep under the earth, somewhat like our subconscious dreamscapes.
For more information about the artist, please go to priapiculture