Edited and Prefaced By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery

By: Phillip Adams, Seraphin Gallery Artist

Phillip Adams’ solo exhibition opened on Friday April 22 with a celebration of his return to painting.  When I Close My Eyes will be on view until May 29, 2016.  The works in the exhibition relay the intense connection between the soul and the space we inhabit.  Adams explores the place that lies between the physical and mental, and in the moments between frames that compound our experience and inform our memory and instigate nostalgia.  Each of these paintings are deeply personal and vastly different; we have asked Phillip Adams to offer his insight and interpretation of each of the major works in the exhibition.

Phillip Adams, Brevard, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″    Placed in a private collection.


This painting is about a fleeting intimate moment, where the movement of the night gives the interior room life.  The vignette of a run-down hallway shining through with daylight provides both doorways to the potential of possibility or despair.  Both rooms at the end of the corridor are boarded up, residing in either radiance or obscurity.  This painting is about intimacy and beauty, but also about solitude and reflection.

Phillip Adams, Montreal, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″


Montréal is ablaze with electric color and motion.  A costumed crowd is featured center with two aggressive figures dominating the periphery of the composition.  With light poured into the crowd and color streaked across figures, this piece explores the visceral tension and mystery of the night.  A gathering of charades at the center of this painting explores the illusions and perceptions we hide or embrace in different settings and places.  There are no better disguises than playing dress-up in a new place or setting; but at the core of one’s experience emotions always show through.

Phillip Adams, New York, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54

New York

Amid the cool undulation of the seemingly flowing water is a faceless diver.  The energetic movement of the composition shows a chaotic moment of color and possible figures in the background, yet there is a calmness of embryonic stillness that is composed by the swimming figure.  With the immensity of life, there is always the Self that navigates the floods and rivers of one’s experiences.  Powerful water can instill fear, but also awe and excitement.

Phillip Adams, Santa Marta, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″

Santa Marta

This painting captures a fleeting moment of primitive beauty.  With a palm tree ablaze, a symbol of freedom, victory, or resurrection glows and lights the heart of this painting.  A sole figure ghosts past caught in the glow from the burning explosive embers and the night’s air.  It is this relationship that connects the ethereal to the undeniable.

Phillip Adams, Santorini, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″


This painting is inspired from one of the most beautiful islands in the world as seen at night.  A place in a country steeped in history and a nexus of knowledge.  Laocoön  was a priest and seer, who was sentenced to death by giant serpents by the Gods after attempting to expose the deception of the Trojan Horse.  In this painting, the famous Greek sculpture illuminates a moment in time, a moment of agony, struggle, and vied resilience.  The insertion of Laocoön as the subject of this painting remarks on the disparity that even within one of the most beautiful places on earth there resides a global financial relationship that should be looked at and questioned.

Phillip Adams, Philadelphia, 2016, Oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″


Working with the youth of Philadelphia over the past decade inspired this painting.  This image is a moment from working on a public art project in collaboration with a community garden at Sayre High School.  As the group of hooded figures walk into the nondescript haze in the background, one is reminded of the current affairs of the black lives matter movement.  Viewing these figures from behind, we realize that they are the same no matter of race, class, or gender.  The heightened attention to race relations is only a part, as power in numbers and anonymity infiltrate the heart of this painting.

Hours: Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm


1108 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA  |  215. 923. 7000.    www.seraphingallery.com  |  seraphin@seraphingallery.com