John Ransom Phillips

Inspired by Giorgio Vasari’s similarly named landmark 1550 text and Walt Whitman’s poem, The Sleepers, Phillips' Lives of Artists 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.

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