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Fan - 5 Expert - 8

Who defines what an ear is as far as creativity goes? Who defines where it goes on a piece? Who dictates what an ear and face should look like within a piece?

Responses (1)

!piece @user #hashtag
John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

January 07, 2022

Tony Pharo takes a playful and humorous approach to neo-expressionist in his Basquiat-inspired, "oreille". Pharo notes, “who defines what an ear is”, and I think this is an excellent point. From our previous newsletters, it is abundantly clear that abstraction does not imply a departure from reality. Abstract depictions of people and scenes are often more faithful to the experience of a thing than the thing itself. And, since we can only see, feel, hear anything by virtue of experience, how can abstraction be any less an accurate depiction of reality than figuration? This leads me back to Pharo’s speculations about ears and physiognomy. Sure, one could be very inebriated and see peoples' features disconcertingly realign—the eyes of one's interlocutors suddenly appear under the nose and enormous ears waving around like elephants (you know, something like that…)—or perhaps watching people shrink and elongate in a warped mirror, but these experiences are a little more unique than watching the abstract surface of a pond. Pharo is not painting an impression of an actual scene but the impression of a scene through the lens of popular culture not just his own.

 I suspect he is also trying to get under traditionalists’ skin, which alone is enough to make me love the work. 

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Tony Pharo
Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art
Painting - Unframed
Acrylic, Oil, Charcoal, Pastels, Canvas
18.00 inches wide
24.00 inches tall
0.50 inches deep
0.50 lbs