Leon Phillips is a Vancouver painter who should be on the radar. His recent exquisite watercolors intelligently comment on photography, yet beautifully personalize that world. These works speak of human experience.
Phillips states: “These paintings were executed during a particularly difficult phase of my mother’s ongoing struggles with dementia. My time in the studio painting the Expand and Nest series were a refuge for me. Although at the time I felt my work was an escape from the pressures wrought of my mother’s illness, I feel that she is somehow in them — along with [painter Gerhard] Richter.
What attracts me to Richter’s work is the way he contrasts blurred shapes and areas with more sharply defined forms suggesting depth of field and the reflective lens distortions that we see in photographic images. The camera lens is always present in his work. Taking my cue from him, my goal is to reference photography. In these works I have contrasted tone, transparency and focus to communicate depth of space and movement. These contrasts suggest an image coming into focus or a fading memory.”
Please take a look at more of his work on his website.