Great to see that Liverpool artist Phillip Marsden has a solo show at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond.
TRUE STORIES by Phillip Marsden
12th September – 28th November 2009
Riverside Gallery, Richmond
True Stories by Phillip Marsden brings together the artist’s complete cartoon and comic book works from the last five years.
Lo-fi, DIY and genre defying, Marsden’s alternative ‘comix’ have been popping up in art galleries and bookshops across the UK since 2004. Following in the great tradition of ‘zine culture and 60s underground comics, the work is largely self-published, and thus usually seen only by a select audience.
This exhibition throws open the comic book pages to a wider public, in a traditional gallery setting. Original pen and ink drawings hang alongside digitally enhanced images, finished comic books, and attendant publicity material, to reveal something of the creative process.
Marsden is an emerging artist and illustrator currently based in Liverpool. He has collaborated with artists, writers, photographers and musicians on a huge array of projects including zines, comics, children’s books, prints, public sculpture and more. As an extension of his own artistic practice, he began creating and self-publishing small-press comics in 2004. These are published in the UK by Compromise Comics Enterprise, named after a character in an as-yet unfinished graphic novel, The Wizard of Eternal Compromise. His influences range from boyhood favourites the Beano and Dandy, to the 60s underground comix of Robert Crumb, to contemporary comics artists such as Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and Anders Nilsen.
His first production, the quirky Clam & Elgar etc, whose eponymous heroes host a TV chat show, satirised everything from fitness fads to daytime TV. Since then subjects have ranged from ambiguous moral tales (Aesop’s Fables) to lewd juvenilia (Blackout); from cautionary fairy tales (The Princess With Many Shoes) to style mag satire (Get The Look: Fashion Supplement); and from biography (Noteworthy) to autobiography (True Stories, from which the show takes its title)
True Stories chronicles unusual happenings from the artist’s daily life, typically with a surreal twist. Appearing in various comics, anthologies and zines over the years, but for the most part unpublished, this long-running series is collected here in its entirety for the first time. A specially commissioned book will be published to coincide with the exhibition and available to buy from the gallery shop as well as Phillip’s website – www.phillipmarsden.com
Gallery curator Mark De Novellis stated “Marsden has participated in three successful open exhibitions at the Riverside Gallery, including the popular Liveline comics open exhibition in 2008, which was voted critic’s pick of the week by artforum. The gallery is committed to showcasing work by marginalised creative practitioners and we hope that Marsden’s first retrospective will bring his work to a wider audience and raise awareness of the vibrant UK small press comics scene.”