Phillip Thomas is represented in the Digital exhibition, which opened on Sunday, April 24:
Phillip Thomas was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1980. He received a BFA in Painting from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (2003) and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Thomas has exhibited widely in Jamaica and abroad, and his awards include the Bronze Musgrave Medal in 2014, the Aaron Matalon Award in the NGJ’s 2008 NationalBiennial, and the Public Prize in the 2006 SuperPlus Under 40 Artist of the Year competition. He represented in local and international collections, including at Sotheby’s and the World Bank. He currently lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica where he lectures at the Edna Manley College.
About the Work
Phillip Thomas’ paintings rely heavily on appropriated images, taken from the worlds of fashion,interior design, historical and documentary photographs and many other sources, and often include collaged elements. The resulting images reflect with ironic sophistication on history, race and sexuality and raise questions about the social roles of art, particularly the tension between its status as a luxury commodity and its potential for politically potent and subversive visual interventions. Thomas has for many years been using digital media to produce the studies for his paintings but these digital studies often take on lives of their own as image meditations that reflect more directly on the politics of representation. Printed on PVC, on a scale comparable to his paintings, the digital images in this exhibition simultaneously challenge and reinscribe the luxury commodity value conventionally associated with his art.