Joel Daniel Phillips

Third Place
Oakland, CA
Eugene #4
Charcoal and graphite on paper, 2014
Ken Stone

 

Eugene #4 is part of Joel Daniel Phillips’s ongoing series No Regrets in Life, which examines the people Phillips regularly encounters on the corner of Sixth and Mission Streets in San Francisco. These life-size charcoal and graphite drawings are meticulously rendered tributes to those who live on the margins of society. Phillips writes, “the renderings are an attempt to play with our voyeuristic tendencies toward the indigence surrounding us, hiding in plain sight. In these portraits, the subjects cease to be dark matter in our communal space and instead are revealed to be the main characters in their own narrative.” By situating the subjects on a spare white sheet, Philips removes them from the decaying environment that has come to define them. Instead, he brings into sharp focus the individual’s psychological complexity and humanity.