John Ransom Phillips interviewed by a gallerist Georges Berges at the George Berges Gallery in New York City.
800 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94133, United States
The San Francisco Art Institute where John Ransom Phillips earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, United States
The University of Chicago where John Ransom Phillips earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree.
John Ransom Phillips.
John Ransom Phillips with one of his works in the background.
John Ransom Phillips received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Doctor of Philosophy degree on the destruction of art during the English Reformation from the University of Chicago. One of his teachers was Richard Diebenkorn.
John Ransom Phillips started his career as a painter. Eventually, he began to incorporate words in some of his canvases and then created first writings and screenplays which weren’t associated with the subjects of his drawings.
Phillips’ works have been exhibited around the United States and abroad, including China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and Egypt.
In addition to painting and writing, Phillips has tried his hand as an educator teaching at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
John Ransom Phillips currently lives and works in New York City. The recent shows of his works include a 2012 ‘Sleeping Presidents’ at Artpond Foundation, a 2014 show at Galerie Espen, Cannes, France, a 2015 ‘Beyond Nature’ at George Berges Gallery, New York City, and a 2019 ‘Lives of Artists’ at Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida.
Frida Calo: In bed asleep
Artist As Lover (Van Gogh)
Carrying My Imagination to New Places
Andy Warhol and His Tape Recorder
Architecture of Artistic Celebrity
The Artist As Lover: Van Gogh
Visionary Artist: A New Kind of Man (Blake)
Artist As Trickster
Artist As Magician
Artist as Cruelty (Bacon)
I paint only what’s in my head
Bed as Battlefield
My Death Foretold
Narcissus Drowning in His Own Reflection
Sinking Near Bottom
Woodrow Wilson in Water
Pinturicchio Developing Perspective
Violet Vapors From The East
Shadow of the Gardener
Raising the Wondrous Crops of the Afterlife
According to John Ransom Phillips, inspired by the works of Rubens and Schiele, he creates his paintings and writings to explore the relation between human beings and the earth. To complete the task, Phillips uses his own previous experiences and the inner emotions he lived in a certain situation.
Phillips believes that he lived many past lives and that he was an artist in each of them.
"My visions are my creative medium."
"When I portray a human being I’m trying to bring out qualities of humanity rather than abstraction; but in the process sometimes I pull back or don’t go far enough to eliminate some of the abstract qualities, so what results is a tension between the two. It is this tightrope edge — this transcendence of any one particular style or interpretation is what makes these works compelling."
"Ideas are my medium. I nurture and channel what captivates me. The scale of my work has to do with my capacity to explore. If the subject is complex, one watercolor, one painting, one theater production, one film, is never enough. Work in a certain medium leads to an expression in different media, or within the same medium, thus heightening the exploration. Sometimes the expression of these ideas overlaps, and I enjoy crossing boundaries."
"I believe in past lives, so I say that I have been painting in many lives and I have been an artist many times. I have appropriated those experiences into my paintings. Hopefully gaining insight from all these other lives."