Frankie Phillips: Cowlick Diary

Frankie Phillips: Cowlick Diary
March 13 – April 17, 2021

373 Broadway
#505 New York, NY 10013

We find ourselves in March 2021 hoping to get back to some kind of nostalgic sense of normal. Whether we want to or not, we recognize ourselves and our worlds shape-shifting into something new.

Frankie Phillips’ “Existential Eyelash” painting indirectly or subconsciously is a self-portrait. There is a depiction of a figure looking into what is presumably a mirror–staring into a reflection of itself. The mirror sees a figure without ears, a snake in place of an eye, and a growing eyelash that is equally exposed as it is camouflaged. The small drawing that led to this painting leads the viewer on a journey into Frankie’s Cowlick Diary. This is the title for Frankie Phillips’ third solo exhibition with Y2K.

Many of the works in Cowlick Diary include wire clothing hangers. The hangers are bent and integrated into the paintings’ surfaces, changing their familiar silhouettes, and in some instances are the armatures for appendage-like extensions that suggest some type of growth or inherent change. Two works made with wire hangers and t-shirts result in sculptural butterfly-like forms.

In another instance, the wires evoke a barrier - seeming to signify restraint or violence- all the while offering naturalistic beauty in the curl of their hooks. The wire hangers articulate crude and textured lines that mimic the quality of some of the paint applications. Some of the painted iconography includes: the passing of time, post-humanoid and alien-like creatures, human ears, stars, planets, slippers, hair, and the map of the United States. If we are in a new age, could these be hieroglyphics describing us in flux?

These narratives from Frankie are complicated and are imbued with emotional expression.
There is an energy and a life-like tension in the paintings that feels relatable. Whether or not we are aware - we all have at least one cowlick – a cosmic like spiral that is as much a part of our surface as it is part of our core. The Cowlick Diary is a particular collection of personal records made during an extraordinary time.

Frankie Phillips (b. 1988) lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. He received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. Past solo and group exhibitions include: Campbell Jenner, Y2K group at 5A Brooklyn; Frankatrocious, Y2K group at 1329 Willoughby, Brooklyn; Frankie Phillips / Andy Pomykalski: Nirvana Detour, Y2K group, New York; Side Bar, curated by Alicia Gibson, Underonk (online); mushrooms, Y2K group at 7 Franklin Pl, New York; seafood stew, Y2K group at 52-07 Flushing Ave, Maspeth; Dirt Life, curated by Sister Gallery, Orgy Park, Brooklyn

Frankie Phillips
Existential Eyelash, 2021
Wire hangers, oil paint, acrylic paint, and gesso on found stretched fabric
60 x 36 x 8.5 inches (152.4 x 91.44 x 21.59 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Alaska and Hawaii, 2021
Wire hangers, oil paint, undershirt, and gesso on stretched canvas
36 x 43 x 4 inches (91.44 x 109.22 x 10.16 cm)
Frankie Phillips
North American Butterfly, 2021
Wire hangers, undershirt, gesso, and oil paint on stretched fabric
25 x 48 x 4.5 inches (63.5 x 121.92 x 11.43 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Cowlick Diary, 2021
Oil paint, gesso, and american flag over stretched canvas
38 x 31.5 x 3.25 inches (96.52 x 80.01 x 8.26 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Being Two Ways, 2020
Oil paint on stretched canvas
31.875 x 37.875 inches (80.96 x 96.2 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Writing in Circles, 2021
Oil on paper
14 x 17 inches (35.56 x 43.18 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Ears Sold Here, 2021
Wire hangers, undershirt, thread, and oil paint on stretched canvas
32 x 26 x 1.75 inches (81.28 x 66.04 x 4.45 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Butterfly with a Human Ear, 2021
Wire hangers, undershirt, oil paint on stretched fabric
29 x 52 x 5 inches (73.66 x 132.08 x 12.7 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Citizen Spatchcock, 2021
Wire hangers, undershirt, oil paint, and gesso on canvas
32 x 39 x 3.25 inches (81.28 x 99.06 x 8.26 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Another Eyelash, 2021
Wire hangers, zip ties, gesso, glitter
5 x 26 x 16 inches (12.7 x 66.04 x 40.64 cm)
Frankie Phillips
Untitled (Existential Eyelash study), 2014
Ink and gesso on chipboard
9.5 x 7 inches (24.13 x 17.78 cm)

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