Flags Medea Philip Mueller
The Black Flags of Medea by Philip Mueller
17.01.2024
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The Carbon 12 gallery presents The Black Flags of Medea, the solo exhibition by Austrian artist Philip Mueller who is well-known for his vivid large-scale paintings brimming with symbolism. The displayed body of work marks an important stage in the journey that the artist’s characters are undergoing. Unanswered questions loom, and the show focuses on this search for meaning. One will be able to attend the exhibition until 29 January 2024.

On view are Mueller’s latest paintings evoking German Romanticism. They once again feature Black Flamingo Sad Boys (BFSB), a group of weird characters who derive from Mueller’s daily life. Naxos Racing Team (NRT), another group of protagonists, is also present in the paintings. However, the central figure of Mueller’s newest artworks is Medea. For the artist, this character from Greek mythology symbolises renewal and the desire to be resurrected, to start a new story from the beginning.

About the artist

Philip Mueller (b. 1988, Vienna, Austria) resides in his hometown. He studied at the University of Applied Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts (both institutions in Vienna). Although most of his art pieces are paintings, his practice also involves sculpture, installation, and performance. 

Philip Mueller, Rush #1, 2018. Oil on canvas. 70 × 50 cm

Describing his work as a constant trial of giving an imaginable coexistence to the extremes society creates, Mueller delves into different themes. In his works, he deftly combines religious and pagan iconography as well as pop culture icons, which is illustrated by the BFSB group first presented in 2016. Some characters refer to historical or mythological figures (for instance, Beethoven, Chronos, and Hercules). Depicted pop figures include, for example, the Cookie Monster and Sophia Lauren. Mueller portrays BFSB wandering from one opulent location to another and indulging in parties and pleasures; later, their will to party diffuses into retreat, rest, and refuge. Another common thread in Mueller’s artworks is the animal kingdom (monkeys, birds, horses), with the gorilla appearing in many paintings as one of the artist’s alter egos.

The artist has displayed his art pieces in many solo and group shows including The Garden of Giants (DIANA, New York City, NY, USA, 2022); NRT – Sunglasses After Dark (Virtual Exhibition, CARBON 12, Dubai, 2021); Reality Kings (Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels, 2021); TIBE NOW – Free Drinks, Boots and Tickets to the Apocalypse (SPM, Dubai, 2019); Sishi (curated by Aram Haus, Vienna, 2015); Forward/ Vorwärts (Q Contemporary, Beirut, Lebanon, 2012); Die Plünderung Der Göttlichen Vorratskammern (The Looting Of The Divine Pantries) (Villa Mondino, Altavilla Monferrato, Italy, 2011); Classless (Academy of Fine Arts, Nürnberg, Germany, 2010); London-Vienna (Degree Art, London, UK, 2009); and others. Mueller’s artworks can be found in such collections as SPM: Salsali Private Museum (Dubai), Farook Foundation (Dubai), and 21er Haus (Vienna).

To get more information about The Black Flags of Medea, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in attending Love Letter by Luis Gispert.

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