Philip Hall Images and Light | About
About the Artist:


-Philip Hall (exert from a review by Jacqueline Cooper)


Philip Hall takes photographs of classic cars. Or, at least, at first glance that’s what the viewer might assume he does. However, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that while the classic (and sometimes not so classic) car is the predominant object in the pictorial field, it certainly isn’t the only subject. In fact, what Philip Hall does quite remarkably is use the classic car as a vehicle (pun intended) through which he can talk about highly sophisticated concepts in contemporary art and photography.


Philip Hall graduated from the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in Southern California and as this might suggest he has a very thorough understanding of contemporary art concepts and the mechanisms of art criticism and appreciation. His images are littered with visual quotes from Contemporary Art. One of the shown is “California Cruisin’.” Hall has layered warm, diffuse sunset tones over the contours of a rare vintage 1953 Corvette. The car’s cherry-red taillight and the flesh-colored curves subliminally evoke the nude female form. The filtered, patterned light in this composition is the direct influence of cinematic lighting techniques Hall learned in his Hollywood years: shadowy fronds, like palm leaves in a coastal breeze, fade into and out of focus. Hall's dreamy composition equally encapsulates the sensuality and nostalgia of an imaginary ideal - an ideal not only personal to Hall, but nearly archetypal to an entire generation.