Philip Colbert’s hyper technicolour canvases are packed with a gallimaufry of contemporary iconography. Philip, walking arm in claw with his lobster alter ego, seeks to satirise our addict culture through his triumphant orchestration of appropriated imagery.
Philip Colbert works are wildly exuberant attempts to update the practice of collage for the internet age. Colbert’s oil paintings challenge and toy with the viewer’s cultural vocabulary - superimposing commonplace, banal objects onto painted faces and merging portraiture with popular culture in a Magritte-like fashion.
Colbert claims his “work is a reflection of the hyper saturation of our culture – iconic images from art history lie alongside iconic brand images which reflect our crazy ferocious appetite for image consumption.” Emojis, computer windows, classical architecture, Lichtenstein spots, comic book sound effects, cactus plants, pixelated mouse cursors — all manner of things have a place in Colbert’s artwork. Colbert embodies what a 21st-century Renaissance man could look like: he is an artist, as well as a fashion designer, he founded the label ‘The Rodnik Band’, and also customises and designs furniture, even shrink-wrapping a BMW 7 series with a fried egg design. However, he is perhaps most content with the label he has given himself — ‘Neo Pop Surrealist’ — a title which encapsulates the hybrid nature of his work and his distinctive persona, synthesising past and present, in order to pave the way for the future.
Most recently, Colbert participated in Unit London’s Summer Group Show Looking For U, exploring the relationship between fine art and digital communication, examining how our exposure and obsession with mass media has affected our consumption of imagery. The exhibition featured Colbert’s paintings, two sculptural works based around his lobster motif, a cheese grater and a neon light piece. His works have featured in major institutions around the world, including at Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Van Gogh Museum, as well as in art fairs such as Art Miami and Art16.