Tom Phillips

A Humument p.81: Bourgeois Pictures

29 x 22 cm | 11 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches
Edition of 100 (#29/100)
Flowers Gallery New York

< Artists + Writers

Tom Phillips, born 1937, lives and works in London

“The book, once found, acted at first as a lucky dip—still does, of course, to a great extent. There is no plot or narrative order. Thus it becomes a lucky dip for the reader, which is what makes it a good oracle, just as obscure as an oracle should be. Only the future can reveal its truth. There are episodes like fragments of a torn-up story, and there are themes which recur, none of them surprising in a life lived and thought about a little. Art, love, life, music, the state of the world, and a few sought particulars (viz. ping pong [a new page which Phillips stylized after a ping pong table]), and the literature of the past that I lean on, and the echoed prosodies I borrow from the dead. And not enough science and sport. There is the word itself, relished or invented, and sometimes predicted (viz. bling). I’d like to be Rilke / instead of a milker / of other mens’ thoughts and ideas / but as I get older / I find I’m the shoulder / I stand on to reach my own self. Toge came as described elsewhere and decided to stick around and be my everyman—a nuisance, sometimes, like the wrong person at the party.”

– Tom Phillips, quoted in Andrew David King, “Were There But World Enough and Time: Tom Phillips on A Humument,”, 2012