How many exhibition works:
Through light and shadow, a gaze, a mindset, Bill Phelps fourth solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery VISITOR inspires the imagination. About life, about being, eye and heart his greatest companions, in images that breathe in their own atmosphere. A moment of pure sincerity, a world of surrealism, or suspended reality. It’s like a wondrous path in which spontaneity, intimacy and a truthful eye are at play time and again. You feel time passing, memories forming or coming to the surface, capturing the moment and its eternity with your mind’s eye but also in his. The VISITOR projects this otherworldly image of someone in search of something more, a deeper understanding of life, or maybe a youthful appreciation of it, or maybe both. The captured quiet of the muse seen through the suspended focus of the 8x10 view camera, the nuance, the in-between, the gaze. Every human being is a poet, a dancer, a VISITOR. Bill Phelps’ portraits, whether it’s someone he may know or not, are not frozen captures of stillness at a moment in time, but surrender to chance occurrences, always. He creates a curiosity, it can often be an invitation. No hurried departure, no preconceived destination, just a perpetual search.
Everything is new. In the image “Rome Two", 2021 a cityscape charged with intimacy, you listen to every step that has crossed the cobblestones before him, you envision every beam of light guiding him through the day to that very moment, anticipate what awaits beyond the dramatic halo of twilight, as the day’s memories start to unravel, you are aware of your senses and everything surrounding you as it happens only when you visit a place for the very first time. You want to feel what the photographer felt, and to go where he has been. The story is in what you see and in the unseen in equal measure. You are a witness, a believer, alive, a VISITOR.
- Ada Pîrvu, Classiq Journal
Bill Phelps is a photographer with more than a questing eye; he strips the fat off the soul in images that speak to his profound capacity for empathy. He sees light with the intuition and depth of an Old Master. His storytelling distils a moment into its different tensions, exposing themes of freedom, compassion, beauty and desire. These dynamics give his painterly instincts the piquancy of a modern abstract, transforming every picture into a passport to a place beyond the everyday.
- Sophy Roberts, Travel writer and author of "The Lost Pianos of Siberia"
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Phelps has been published and exhibited internationally. He is the recipient of the IPA Lucie Award for International Fine Art Photographer of the Year, as well as the Grand Prize for Portraits for the World Press.
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