To Do List #06
To Do List #06 To Do List #06

DIMENSIONS 12" x 9.5" MEDIUM ink on archival pigment print

Unique work from a series of 14
Signed by the artist en verso

Doesn't it feel like someone is always telling you what to do? Does that mean that it's actually happening? Or does it just feel like it is? Reality on a sliding scale. Whose voice is speaking? Brad Phillips knows that thoughts are forward facing but can rotate like a prism, which is why his text and his paintings and his text paintings read like confessional autobiographies but aren't. Or are they?

In To Do List, life gets equalized. A hand-scrawled numerated list, hallmark of the mundane, is elevated and transformed: pen in notebook becomes paint on canvas, which transmutes into archival print edition. Daily hierarchies of priorities are leveled with a realistic glare, demanding an unfettered exposé into cycles of thought. The image is frank, obvious, and magic: by providing the feeling of raw honesty, Phillips' work remains both steeped in and guarded from personal truth, transforming himself and his audiences into voyeurs.

In his new hand-touched series based on To Do List, fact and fiction blur closer. There is now a new command which to attend, to obey, dampened and dried ink on the page like tears. Who gets to tell you what to do? In his 2019 book Essays and Fictions, Phillips wrote, "Important to remember this is all fiction. Directed to myself or to you—it doesn’t matter. It’s all fiction. Remember though that all writing is fiction." If language is unreliable, then what else is there to do? It might be helpful to start writing a list. Or collect someone else's. Then you can say it's yours.

Brad Phillips' solo exhibition What You Do When You Don't Go Outside was held at Harper's Apartment in 2019. Other solo exhibitions include Bullshit Both Walks and Talks at Allen & Eldridge (New York), First Last Chance at Division Gallery (Toronto), and Honeymoon Rehearsal organized by Bjarne Melgaard at Rod Bianco Gallery (Oslo) among many others. His recent two-person exhibition with Cristine Brache was held at Anat Egbi Gallery (Los Angeles) and in 2020 he was featured in To Paint is to Love Again curated by Olivier Zahm at Nino Mier Gallery (Los Angeles).

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