Artist Statement

PHILIP HAZARD

Trusting my intuitive instincts, the inspiration and subject matter for my paintings and prints stem from personal obsessions, idealized pop culture, urban decay and ready-made found materials. Painting, collage, mixed media, metal, assemblage, text and neon are layered on my canvas to explore the larger context of the relationship between disparate images and their dialogue.

The juxtaposition of unrelated images is intended to produce something more – the idea of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

In the process of creating my prints and paintings I play with the concept that 2 + 2 does not equal 4, but rather it equals “X”, the unknown. Or to take the idea even further, 2 + 2 equals an un-definable cipher, an abstract gesture. There is no wrong answer for the painting process because it can equal anything. Consequently, it is important to explore the difference between intent and intuitive process.

My printmaking involves solvent transfer, silkscreen, mono-prints and is filled with impulsive and spontaneous procedures. I build my prints with the same approach as creating a collage. One layer on top of another continues to inform the next step.

The use of text stems from my many years working in the neon sign industry in New York City. That is the source for my fascination of text, signage and a bold billboard-like concept. The use of text attempts to express my own desires and feelings. Themes speak to the longing in everyone. These concepts coupled with past memories and emotional obsessions, underlies the autobiographical nature of the work.

My curiosity about painting techniques manifests itself in gesture splatters, drips and mark-making. The result is a constantly changing layer upon layer surface, that is structured and thought out, yet appears improvisational, much like a jazz composition.

Some of my painted images are representational, while other areas of the painting remain abstract and expressionistic.

The objects in my paintings are intended to become universal, timeless and iconic images. My prints and paintings attempt to evoke a response and interpretation from the viewer with regard to my various ironic, melancholy or enigmatic content. My goal is to reflect a universal narrative taken from my personal life experience and a tiny bit of the human condition.

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