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Preview: Pat Phillips "It Was Sunny, but Then It Started to Rain" @ P·P·O·W Gallery, NYC

Pat Phillips often creates works on paper, a delicate but enduring surface that he layers upon layers on with acrylic, pencil, airbrush and aerosol paint. He layers meaning, most importantly, pop-cultural iconography with political slogans and symbolism, on top of each other, like graffiti'd walls and comic-strip narration. Though he works on canvas as well, I'm always drawn to Pat's work on paper, how he tests the durability of the material, of the essence of the surface, with such powerful purpose. Can it stand it? Can we endure the layers of disparate beliefs in our society.  

I find Pat to be one of the great American artists of the moment. With graffiti art in his background and an understanding of mass consumerism and underground art, It Was Sunny, but Then It Started to Rain at P·P·O·W Gallery in NYC is an accumulation of works from Pat over the last 4 years, the perfect representation of a post-Covid world and overview of America in the 21st century. Deep down, it’s about the facade of pop-culture and politics, the gross over-estimation of optimism in a time of turmoil. And somehow, Pat makes the chaos look ever so vital and beautiful.