when we are gone
our lives will continue without us
-or so we believe and,
at times, we have tried to imagine
the gaps we will leave being filled
with the brilliance of others:
someone else gathering plums
from this tree in the garden,
someone else thinking this thought
in a room filled with stars
and coming to no conclusion
other than this –
this bungled joy, this inarticulate
conviction that the future cannot come
without the grace
of setting things aside,
of giving up
the phantom of a soul
that only seemed to be
while it was passing.
Phelan Black, who was born in the UK, has
lived for the last 30-odd years in Italy. His
paintings are steeped in a dreamy delicious
aliveness. The oils, slightly sombre, hint at
dark politics and troubles. The past and
present intertwine, get tangled up, ensnared.
A strong erotic pulse often animates or
lurks. Masculinity preys. Women besport
themselves. Voo Comprà, like a Flemish
prince, saturated in gorgeous colours, is
selling things or himself -- or someone else
perhaps-- on the beach. An ice skater,
painted to the nines, entwines the dancing
satyr of Mazara del Vallo, unbeknownst to
her. He glitters, she glamours; together they
are glamoured. And we are glamoured.
Swept along by the tides and the rain drops
on the sea and the light over the hills. We,
too, are carried away. And a turtle dove
coos. It could be winsome or coy, but the
undertow plays a riff raff unsettling line.
This Rimini is not of the luxury hotels. It is
one we could love in, too.
Prof. Helen Hills, Art Historian
Phelan Black is a British Artist born in 1948.
In the 70's he was a member of the set of creative
spirits associated with The Colony Rooms and
Tuttons Brasserie, together with painters like Tim
Behrens, Cragie Aitcheson, Patrick Proctor and
For more than 30 years Phelan has been living
and painting in Italy in the province of Rimini,
the birth place of Fellini and Marco Pesarese.
Now in this, his 70th year, he returns to London
to show a collection of this work.
Olga Sienko, Artist and Gallery Director