My Modern Met article about Philip Barlow's newest work. To read the article, click on the link below. Philip Barlow will have a solo exhibition at Galerie LeRoyer this summer.
Cape Town-based artist Philip Barlow paints abstracted depictions of the cityscapes at night, blurring the focus of street lamps and headlights the way our eyes or a photographer’s lens might when adjusting to a city’s bright, multi-colored lights. In this way, Barlow paints from perception rather than reality, showcasing the beautiful ways we process our daily surroundings. In the foreground, the paintings feature overlapping orbs of white, red, and blue light, which obscure blurred buildings, cars, and signs that occupy the dimly painted background.
“The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them,” explains Barlow. “Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.”
Known for his trademark-style oil paintings that are never quite in focus, cape town-based artist philip barlow depicts a world in which figures and objects are seen solely for their interaction with light. in doing so, barlow illustrates scenes of beaches and cities that appear as if taken by camera, positioned outside the depth of field so that the lens only captures the sources of light or the areas in which it is reflected.
in barlow’s latest series, night, philip barlow depicts ‘out-of-focus’ scenes of cities overlaid with blurry orbs of confetti-like light. ‘the figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them,’ barlow states. ‘bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.’
You might already be familiar with the beautiful work of Philip Barlow. His trademark-style oil paintings are never quite in focus, as though he has taken a photograph but forgotten to adjust the lens.
The South African artist usually gives us summer scenes from the beach or city. For his latest series, Night, he brings us seductive cityscapes that contained blurred lights, creating those appealing colourful spots that we might capture when the camera is struggling to focus in low light.
"Although I work within a long tradition of landscape painting," says Philip, "my depiction of the 'seen' landscape is simply a vehicle through which I navigate the territory of another nature. A landscape less ordinary; where the line between the physical and the spiritual realm has seemingly been removed. However, these scenarios are not intended to be of a surreal nature. Hopefully, they will seem curiously familiar and convincingly real."