Derrick Phillips Sr. is a mixed media artist who lives and works in Lawrenceville, Ga. A native of East Point, Georgia, his art pays homage to the African-American diaspora taking on the social and political issues intertwined with the inherited resilience of the black race. He primarily works in wood assemblages combined with a mixture of charcoal and acrylics.

Phillips art escapes the normal matrix of the square/rectangle shape and takes on the circle and cut out figures which derive from the law enforcement target practice silhouette. His current series entitled “Bullets & Nooses” speaks on the parallel between gun violence/police shootings and lynching. The two acts of brutality being essentially the same just taking placein different time periods within American history. The noose being worn like a necklace is a significant symbol in this series which represents a way of paying homage and remembrance of his ancestors who were lynched or those who witnessed such acts of brutality. The parallel being the same in which a Christian would wear a cross on a necklace in remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The noose in combination with the halo symbol creates a infinity symbol representing that somehow these individuals live forever. 

At the age of 13 is when Derrick begin to take art serious when he met his 7th grade art teacher Mr. Kevin Cole. He went on to apprentice under Cole, working on various projects such as the 1996 Coca-Cola Centennial Olympic Mural and continue to assist him currently. Phillips’s artwork has been shown in various exhibitions, the most notable one recently is  “Atlanta Collects, The Renaissance Continues” in East Point, Ga Jack Sinclair Gallery. In 2000 Phillips received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Concentration in Printmaking from Atlanta College of Art. 

 

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