Recently, an Italian artist sold a conceptual sculpture for the tidy sum of… ah, click on the link if you’re actually interested. I’m not even going to mention his name because I don’t believe in endorsing scam artists. Meanwhile, the concept of invisibility continues to dog many people, including myself. In recent times I’ve embarked upon the notion of bringing to light people who either were or have become invisible due to cultural pressure or simply the passing of time, or indeed both, because I happen to think it’s important to demonstrate to others why we should be more mindful and appreciative of all and of whom has come before us, and helped us perhaps gain some of the liberties we now enjoy.

There is nothing upsetting about my artwork, unless you begin researching the specific history involving the subjects of my work. There is indeed a wealth of narrative there if you really look, and a lot to be upset about. Instead, I hope to uplift the viewer and potential owner of my works of art by providing them with something tangible that they can then notionally connect with. Of course, if you ask me, then I’m going to tell you that everything is notional, including the concept of wealth and money. When push comes to shove, banks will often be reluctant to give you actual gold bullion to support your notional wealth. Furthermore, if you really press me, I will indeed tell you that reality is subjective and that absolutely nothing is real. It’s all a fiction, and that the paradox that might exist between absolute truth and fiction is merely a demonstration of a lack of knowledge. You might remember my having explained that once before here. But I digress.

Here is my latest work. It took probably, a good 50-60 hours to complete and nearly broke my hand in the process. But it was worth it. I’ve entitled it: Family.

Copyright Maria Jones-Phillips, 2021.
Graphite on Bristol Paper, 23×40 cm, by Maria Jones-Phillips, 2021. Drawing inspired by the photography of Edward Stanton of a group of boys playing on the streets of Detroit, c. 1937.

Being a mum of three, two of which are boys, I’ve been feeling very maternal towards my subjects as I have been recreating their wonderful faces over the past couple of weeks. Their expressions have made me smile from start to finish. As I was drawing I found myself wondering what happened to each of those boys. Who they were, who they became, what kind of lives they had, and whether any of them are still with us. They would have been born around the same time as my own grandparents, circa 1925. They were just kids then, playing on the street being innocent and having fun pretending to box one another, as can be seen in the other photos of these boys and other children by photographer, Edward Stanton. The kid with the trapper hat looks like he’s already sporting two shiners!

As for invisible art, I’m just a little bit irritated that the art world is so broad in its definition of what it claims to support, and that the powers that control the flow of art into the public eye deem it necessary to undermine the talent and hard work of so many artists who are attempting, as I am to create a better version of reality through actual work that deserves to be seen and serves to remind all of us that we have a lot to be thankful for. If you are alive, which I sincerely hope you are, then you are indeed a lucky soul.

Nosferatu out!

N.B. Being culturally invisible is probably the most damaging experience a person can have. It informs so much of your life thereafter, and everything becomes a perpetual fight. As an artist and as a person who has experienced the feeling of invisibility my whole life, I feel it’s my job to bring light to what some others refuse to see, because what other option do I have? I could do nothing, I suppose. But those who do nothing, achieve nothing.

8 thoughts on “Not Invisible Art

      1. Well I’m going out tomorrow morning and selling my next three story ideas (which I haven’t dreamed up yet… and won’t, because it’s an exercise in the imagination) and sell them for FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly!

          Bill made a good suggestion. Maybe someone should have placed a bid on the invisible sculpture and paid with invisible money.

          I’m speechless, actually. I’m beyond incensed. It makes a total mockery of all of us real artists, and I include all artists, whether you’re a writer, painter, musician. It’s like saying, I wrote you a song but there’s no music or lyrics. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with people?

          Liked by 1 person

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