This week, Exhibition-ism had the pleasure of visiting artist Joel Daniel Phillips in his studio in San Francisco. Our editor-in-chief Jessica Ross spent some time with Joel and got some insight into his future projects. Take a look below! 

San Francisco-based Joel Daniel Phillips sheds light on those usually kept in the dark, or in this case, on the street. His large-scale graphite and charcoal portraits capture “the overlooked and unidentified”, giving the viewer an honest and unembellished perspective into the faces of individuals most people disregard. Highly detailed and minimal all at the same time, Joel’s staggering realism and classical composition gives way for a dynamic center-stage for his subject matter. Working in a studio in the mid-market area of San Francisco, Joel takes in the neighborhood that so heavily influences his work.

He wanders 6th street with his camera, absorbing the world that lives quite literally on the streets, meeting the people that ‘hide in plain sight.” Returning to his studio, he begins a long process of mapping out the paper, bravely making the first mark and very methodically and systematically rendering his anonymous subjects. He states that it can be both meditative and infuriating all at once. 

His series ‘No Regrets in Life’ debuted at his first ever solo show at Satellite 66 and Joel is planning on continuing his series well into the next year. Seeing his work in person is a must, the overwhelming directness of his work leaves the viewer with a sense of voyeuristic fragility. As for the future, Joel is premiering new work at the Beyond Eden Gallery fair in Los Angeles in October and showing with Spoke Art Gallery at Miami Art Basel in December. Residing south of Market will prove to be a source of inspiration time and time again for Joel and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.