Structure with Trees

Nick McPhail

177.8 × 147.3 cm, oil on canvas, 2019

Nick McPhail is a painter and ceramist based in Los Angeles. His work emerges from meditations on mundanity that reveal the innermost complexities of the psyche. He focuses on blank or boring subjects like gates, stairs, overgrown vegetation, doorways and walls as surfaces to reflect an emotional state, a surreal dream, or a layered memory, leaving the painting both commonplace and sublime. Nick’s use of traditional Renaissance techniques of layering and underpainting to create light acts as a palimpsest of his original source material - iphone photographs taken on long, meditative walks.

“The paintings become less about a certain place and more about the feeling you get when you become fully present and aware of your surroundings, or how you are affected by thinking of the memory of these places. I think in that sense, they become more than “real” in some ways. It’s like an extension of reality or a simulation.”

Nick has recently completed artist residencies in Texas, Idaho, Vermont and Switzerland, and his work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe.