Loading Events


John Ransom Phillips: Lives of Artists

October 24 - November 24

BlackBook Presents
20 John Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm

John Ransom Phillips is more than an artist—he’s a prophet. His work is as colorful as any sermon, as powerful as any biblical verse. His latest series,Lives of Artists, inspired by Giorgio Vasari’s similarly named landmark 1550 text and Walt Whitman’s poem, The Sleepers, is an exercise in spirituality—one in which he travels into the minds of some of BlackBook’s favorite artists, and comes out with not just a better understanding of their oeuvre, but his own work.

The result is a riveting series of paintings, scribbles and poems that takes the viewer on an ethereal journey through the emotional subconscious and into Basquiat’s wild, but tormented energy; Kahlo’s inner turmoil; William Blake’s own ghostly communion.

Warhol, Fellini, Arbus, Kafka—through sometimes bold, sometimes muted colors, Phillips connects with some of history’s most celebrated creative thinkers—ones that share only a distinct vision—and presents their conversations in a way that’s true to his own.

“The struggle in my art was never more than recognizing that certain ideas, certain feelings, demand expression in words and images,” he says of his practice.

With Lives of Artists, Phillips gives the ideas and feelings of other artists their own powerful words and images—ones that travel to the ether and back, to gift the audience with a new point of view.