Chalk Horse presents Yes Please…, a solo exhibition by Philjames.
“Philjames’s new exhibition Yes please…, is fun and philosophical in equal measure. Philjames continues a method that he has mastered over the last few years. With the patient skill of a conservator, he carefully inserts new elements on old found paintings and prints, totally hijacking the original image in the process.
The works power does not begin and end in that invention. This show underscores that his layered, and collaged approach to painting produces many different strategic effects. Borrowing from cartoon and caricature, there is a tendency to read the images as ones of ridicule and satire. And this is indeed an important tactic for Philjames. The Church and State, Jesus and QEII, and all their servants all come in for a serve in this show.
Modernity itself is on trial. The offset lithograph frst came off the presses in 1875. The images it produced were sold in their thousands to the also newly minted middle classes. Allegories and religious pictures produced the Victorian values of faith, loyalty, piety and charity, for the new urban mantelpieces. Beneath Philjames’s interventions you can clearly still imagine the directness and seductive power of these (cloying) images.
These are sophisticated images that question the power of allegorical images themself. How do we symbolise important abstract ideas? How do we represent deeper and spiritual meaning for a world that craves it, without falling back into sentimentality?” – extract from text by Dr Oliver Watts
Opening Event: Thursday 23 February, 6 – 8pm.
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