Phillips X + Particle Presents: Streams of Consciousness Exhibition
This year during Art Basel Miami, Phillips X and Particle partnered together to present a week-long exhibition at the Sagamore Hotel, titled: Streams of Consciousness, featuring incredible works from emerging and established artists, including Blake Daniels, Richard Wathen, Yayoi Kusama, Amoako Boafo, Louise Nevelson, Joyce Pensato, Ellie Pratt, Gal Schindler, Maria Sainz Rueda, Julia Bennett, Nina Silverberg, and more. The theme of the show focused on artists negotiating a space between reality and fantasy, which has wonderful parallels to the world of web3. Bringing together emerging and mid-career artists who investigate a space through their own psychological depictions of landscapes and figures, cultural attitudes and self-reflection, the show demonstrated the fictitious domain in these paintings that call for possibilities of transformative experience, demonstrating the immeasurable ways that paint can be manipulated to develop suggestive, transcendent, and sensory compositions.
In honor of the exhibition and the works presented, Particle asked 11 of the artists included in the show to give a description of the work they created.
Here’s what they said:
The painting 'Becalmed' 2022 depicts a pensive figure of uncertain age/gender (something evident in a lot of my works). The title suggests someone stuck or marooned, perhaps in their thoughts. Areas of the work have an unfinished quality and allude to a fragility or breaking down of the image.
I want us to look, because nothing is hidden, to begin to feel the material and color of the paint itself, the feeling when opacity meets translucence to produce something more than legibility all together. The painting ‘View of Vaaldam’ (2022) is a search for water in the drought prone landscape of Johannesburg. With a nod to El Greco’s ‘View of Toledo’ (1596–1600), the landscape weaves together memories, news accounts and translated gossip to depict scenes of skinny-dipping, car accidents and flooded plains. These disparate subjects and places find consequence in the ways in which they share color, mark and form, an invitation for us to look further from multiple vantage points.
The work reacts to many human psychological questions and especially to introspection. But again, introspection itself is never resolved and is a contradiction in some way since no matter how much we try to look inward we will never entirely bridge this gap into our most hidden mental spaces. Making the painting ‘Primal Winds’ was like trying to go through the walls of my existence. The image came up from merging recent memories with older ones in my mind, places I have been to, but it was painted without looking directly onto them but by evoking moods that fusion it all together.
Reflections' began as an idea of a group of girls looking at their reflections in a mirror as they are getting ready to go out. As I was in the process of painting I would often turn it upside down, so much so, that I wasn't sure which way up it would go until it was nearly finished. This process really lead to how the painting developed. It enabled me to work in a way where the image no longer felt tied down by it's direction of gravity but allowed a rhythmic structure of bodies to emerge to the surface, coming in and out of being, like an inconsistent thought.
Inspired by Léon Spilliaert’s painting of the same name, 'The Cloud' is about lightness and weight and the symbolically charged energy of the female form. As is often the case in my work, there is a tension between the subject/object, foreground/background that mirrors the structure of a still life. Formed from both found images and my own imagination, I see this painting as a still life of sorts, of a kind of light projection or stone relief carving, floating in an empty space between conscious and unconscious worlds.
I paint from my unconscious and my intuition. Memories, songs and moments in time come to me in the process. I aim to reconfigure them by stripping them to their bare essentials: form and color. These forms are what allow me to push the boundaries of color, paint as well as their correlation in order to explore their ultimate potential.
I painted gloves to incorporate a more figurative and bodily element within the work, without depicting an actual human figure. My paintings are always characterised by an absence of human life, yet they portray objects that imply the presence of human life and that give us some kind of comfort. I started painting the subject of gloves during the pandemic and became fascinated with abstracting them and making them into flat silhouettes. I enjoy how they are always in pairs and how they sometimes can appear as structures and passageways.
The building depicted in 'Untitled' and in 'Arrival II' is based on early Medieval paintings of monasteries. Medieval paintings of structures like this one always have a slanted appearance and oblique perspective, which flattens the image and gives it an isolated and dreamlike quality. These are some of the reasons why they first attracted me so much. Rain covers the entire work, slanted and flattened, suspended in time.
In 'Rest' an isolated bed frame is depicted ornamented with transparent drapes and a sheet. A place of rest and intimacy, the gateway to sleep and dreams, a place to retreat from the world. The structure in 'Rest' is slanted and bare, with an uncanny quality, inhospitable in its flatness.
‘The artist considers death’ was created in the summer of 2022. The skeleton comes from two places, one from a homage to Van Gogh’s ‘Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette’ and the other is the self reflection while enduring an addiction. The smoky room with the unlit cigarette, fiddling with their cigarette and contemplating the empty ashtray. The series is titled ‘Lost Millennials’ it is a emotionally charged response to day to day life, blending memories and fantasies and loose thoughts into a language that goes beyond words.
‘The anticipation of the unknown’ is based on the ephemeral experience of loss that can suddenly enter our life. Covered by the trees are two people, the one on the left, obscured by the branches is kneeling in the passive position of letting go, while the other laying down is floating away. The trees that are in blossom pulse with the potentiality of the new, are surrounded by waters that constantly move and change that leaves us wondering where the tides will take us.
Maria Sainz Rueda
My practice is driven by the fascination for the relation between memories, ideas,emotions, time, space, and the materiality of color and form. I have a strong affection for the idea of color as a medium of communication beyond words, including contradictions and ambiguity. I see my practice as a constant dialog with life, the inside and the outside. In the series of paintings ›Verkündigung/Annunciation‹ belongs to I started with drawings based on meditation. Fascinated by the graphic power of the images that my mind produced during meditation, I began to visualize them. First in ink drawings, later directly with color on the canvas. I think of my paintings as a reflection on the relationship of space and time, on the powerful forces of the elements, on the climatic changes caused by humans, on becoming and passing away.
In my paintings I am using old archival references to explore the modern concept of the avatar and the merging of reality and imagination. Exploring the idea of the ego, shadow and self, and inviting the viewer to ask the question “who is haunting whom?”
I use my work to try and reconceptualize cultural figures and archetypes. In these paintings, I wanted to use images that created a sense of nostalgia and psychological depth. Colors that evoke confidence and humanity while leaving enough vague space for the viewer to decipher their own subconscious interpretation.
Blackout is a self-portrait dealing with a temporary loss of consciousness. Depicting a figure trapped inside a glass and partially deformed by a swirl of wine, it recalls a state of mental distortion as physical reality dissolves into a psychological void.
Functioning as an inward-facing window, Dream City frames an internal landscape dominated by dream-logic. In place of figures, the use of emotional architecture enables the artist to break away from the autobiographical and to establish a more profound connection between individual experience and cosmic unity - inviting the viewer to enter the state of being lost.
This work serves as evidence of an impossible present; a time of rupture, ghosts, endings, connections, possibilities. In this, I explore the paradox of ongoingness.
Traces of wild berries, acidic soil, and bricks found in construction carnage convey some accounts of a dilapidated landscape. Still, these layers reveal life amidst ruins of the present, while the process of making searches for the shape of its recent past. Rooting and reaching, like mycorrhizal networks and wildfires, the movement within this work represents the continuous cycle of growth and collapse.
Through this research, my practice has become a ritual; a way to see, to grieve, and to contemplate remediation. Each painting acts as a response, offering a way to better understand the land that has been neglected, and a way to revive the relationships within a bastardized ecosystem. In effect, these paintings become a reflection of our entangling with a colonized and over-consumed Earth; remembering the ghosts of our making and bridging the threshold to possible futures.