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Carolina Galleries in Charleston, SC, Features Works by P. (Philip) Smallwood
Carolina Galleries in Charleston, SC, will present an exhibit of watercolors by P. (Philip) Smallwood, on view from Feb. 5 - 28, 2010.
Philip Smallwood is known for his signature "Lifescapes", a wonderful form of portraiture and visual narrative. His works are intended to engage the viewer and allow them to connect with the subject's emotional experience of life.
In Smallwood's painting Destiny, the little girl looks directly at the viewer. Her expression and the detail of her face draw the viewer in and wanting to know more about her. In other works, the viewer feels as if they have walked into a slice of the subjects life.
"Through my paintings,
I ask the viewer to stop, engage and experience the individual
lives portrayed - with all their aspirations, dreams and desires
- and really see them as worthy of their observation. I want to
bring my subjects into the world in a majestic and profound way,
to put them on a pedestal and make them royalty in terms of the
artistic content," Smallwood explains.
As a primarily self-taught artist, the process by which he creates a Lifescape is intuitive and exploratory. Smallwood creates from his own vision rather from any particular artistic school. His artistic vision is unique, specific and intentional.
Smallwood's work is also highly drafted and finely finished. Before becoming a full time fine artist, he founded Woodtopia, Inc., a furniture fabrication and design company that produced commercial and one-of-a-kind artisan pieces. The artisan works, including functional objects such as tables and chairs, challenged the traditional expectation of line and form. The experience of designing and woodworking enabled Smallwood to experiment with volume, line, form, finish and artistic representation. These are all elements that play an important role in the composition of Smallwood's work today.
Examples of his use of form and line are evident in his watercolor My Turn. This piece gives a window frame, with its dark vertical and horizontal lines, an important part in the overall composition.
Smallwood, who currently resides in New Jersey, spent many years living and traveling throughout the Southeast and much of his work is inspired by rural families in the South. Charleston has always been source of inspiration for him. However, Smallwood is currently working on a new body of work that highlights a young man growing up in New York City. This new series marks a shift to a more edgy and intense urban setting. This recent body of work gives a sense a familiarity to anyone who lives in a metropolitan city in the US. A few pieces from this series will be included in this exhibition.
Smallwood is often inspired by people who may be experiencing unfortunate circumstances. He enjoys portraying them in an idealist way. He believes this gives the viewer a chance to really look at the good in these people. His subjects are often people that a viewer may not take the time to get to know because of their specific circumstances.
Smallwood attended the
University of Miami and graduated with a BS in Biology and a Minor
in Art. Through watercolor, he found a medium that allowed him
to blend his love of the human form with light, color and a fluid
surface ideal for telling the human narrative that has become
the heartbeat of his work. Today, his Lifescape watercolors are
the culmination of his artistic relationships with structure,
shape, volume, finish, light and color filtered through the eye
of his life experiences and values.
Smallwood's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions, including The Craven Gallery, The Parrish Art Museum in South Hampton and The Studio Museum in Harlem. In Oct. 2009, he was honored with Best in Show at the Philadelphia International Art Expo. Last year, he also was awarded by the New Jersey Watercolor Society for his outstanding work.
For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 843/720-8622 or visit (www.carolinagalleries.com).
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