Kiss Me I’m Dying by Brad Phillips

Published by Stanley / Barker (2016)
80 Pages, 15 x 19 cm, Hardcover

The paintings in Kiss Me I’m Dying draw from a vast trove of cultural detritus – the tongue-in-cheek slogans of bumper stickers and needlepoint pillows to the sardonic quips of a misanthrope – Phillips toys with the disjuncture between his phrases and their visual representation, combining commercial fonts, brightly colored words, and faux ransom lettering with sordid messages of sex, suicide, inadequacy, and self-degradation.

Marked by a wry penchant for the disconcerting and a proclivity for the absurd, Brad Phillips works somewhere between text and image, striving for the immediacy of both. His wordplay precipitates varied meanings, creating slippage and dissonance between interpretations. For Phillips, text becomes image, and image becomes text. Of the work Phillips says, “I was in Nova Scotia for a month, in a very remote place. I just went there with my girlfriend to not do anything, but I’m bipolar and I don’t take medication so I started getting bored. I had all this paper and started making these stupid signs. They look like the script from the New Yorker magazine. They’re just funny, kind of cynical, corny puns.”