Joel Daniel Phillips, “This Land Was Not Your Land,” charcoal & graphite on paper, 30 x 52 1/2 inches

By now, you’ve probably become familiar with the name Joel Daniel Phillips — he’s a remarkably talented draughtsman with a penchant for engaging narrative and hyper-realism who recently relocated from the Bay Area to Tulsa, Oklahoma. His newest body of work is currently on view. What’s the story?

The newest body of work from Joel Daniel Phillips — 25 drawings in all — is part of a current solo exhibition at Tinney Contemporary in Nashville, Tennessee. At the beginning of 2017, Phillips relocated from San Francisco, California, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his new series of works was spawned by his “search for an understanding of new surroundings,” he says.

Joel Daniel Phillips, “Then Your Prairies Can Be Covered in Speckled Cattle, 1-15,” after Eadweard Muybridge, 1883), 2017, charcoal & graphite on paper
Joel Daniel Phillips, “Used Cars (The Working Man’s Friend),” (crop), charcoal & graphite on paper, 92 x 60 inches

Titled “Welcome to the Orange West,” this series of drawings “examine the historical and cultural events that shaped Westward Expansion in the United States at the turn of the 20th Century,” the artist says. “Through the lens of abandoned and decaying advertising littering the landscape along Route 66, the exhibition focuses on the sociological factors surrounding Manifest Destiny. Contrasted with renderings of historical moments central to the formation of the American West, the works explore the ways in which the United States has been shaped by, for better and worse, a deeply nostalgic relationship with Westward Expansion and the idea of power.

(left) Joel Daniel Phillips, “Sirloin Stockade,” charcoal & graphite on paper, 27 1/2 x 44 inches
(right) Joel Daniel Phillips, “New York Café Hookah Lounge,” charcoal & graphite on paper, 49 x 44 inches

“Most particularly, the drawings speak to the juxtaposition between history and nostalgia. We are in the midst of a cultural moment that sees many Americans hoping to return the country to their own individual understanding of its past; ‘Welcome to the Orange West’ is an exploration of that past, and how our fascination with its glamour continues to shape decisions that affect our future.”

The exhibition will continue now through November 11. To learn more, visit Tinney Contemporary Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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