Dispatches: Phillip Vigil

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As far as I know artist Phillip Vigil has never done a Blurb book, but he’s still here on Dispatches. I’m hoping to trick him into doing a book together, and once you see his work you will understand why. I’ve also made some interesting photographs of Phillip over the years, so the resources are there. Quiet, shy but humming with energy when he finally gets talking, Phillip is someone born with creative in his blood.

Once, while involved in a trade with my wife (she makes jewelry) Phillip dumped a box of prints on the hood of my car. A freezing morning in Albuquerque. I couldn’t believe how much work he had. What I love about this is when I talk with Phillip about art the conversation is just about the art. It’s almost like there is any other option for him. This wasn’t a “Hey, I’m good at this so I’ll make as much money as I can,” thing. That’s not to say he doesn’t do shows, sell work, he does for certain, but I get the feeling he would be making art if he were trapped in a mineshaft. Thanks Phillip!

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  1. It took me FOREVER to figure this thing out:

    I make work for “you”, for other people. For an audience, largely hypothetical. But “you” don’t get any input into what or how I make it.

    It feels like most people have these two things muddled up. It feels like a lot of people want to tell me what I did right, what I did wrong, they want to give me “valuable feedback” and I just don’t give a shit about their valuable feedback. But I still make the work for them. All I ask of my audience is that they try. Try to get it. If it doesn’t work, that’s OK. If you get something, awesome. If you love it, that’s even more awesome.

    But I don’t give a shit if you think I should have shot it in color, or dodged the thing, or cloned the thing out, or used a larger/smaller format or anything. You go make that art, I’ll make mine.

    I make stuff for YOU, but that doesn’t mean YOU get to tell me how or what to do.

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      Yes, for this reason I rarely show my work around. Not that I’m actually making a lot of work these days, but for me it’s almost detrimental to the idea of doing the work. I’m not a believer that everything needs to be seen. I just like the act of making it.

  2. Really refreshing to here someone say they don’t need anything and really mean it. I’ve taken a lot from this particular interview. Thanks for bringing Phillip to our attention.

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