Australian artist Phil Clarke uses Surrealism, Pop Art and Media Images to portray Modern Life. He combines Nature And Technology in a Poetic Vision which explores themes of Environmental Challenge, Coral Bleaching, Endangered Species, Social Justice, Loss Of Habitat, Renewable Energy and Common Sense.
Once described as the Gypsy Of Art, Phil Clarke has enjoyed an International Career, having lived and Exhibited in Cadaques And Barcelona Spain, Amsterdam Holland, Milano Italy, Marseille France, Hong Kong and Beijing China, as well as Sydney And Newcastle Australia. Following a spinal operation in 1999, he has travelled less and bases his Studio In Greenwich Sydney, with Exhibitions In Sydney and Hong Kong.
In 1978 he was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Surrealist Maestro Salvador Dali while visiting the World Renowned ‘Dali Museum’ in Figueras, Spain north of Barcelona. As a result of joining Dali’s Entourage, Artist Phil Clarke spent the next ten years in the Catalan Fishing Village Of Cadaques, exhibiting with Dali’s Confidant Carlos Lozano. From here he travelled Around Europe, as well as to The Himalayas, Asia and often to his Home Town of Sydney.
Visiting Sydney he was an Archibald Finalist in 1980 with a Portrait Of Barrister Clive Evatt. A picture of this painting was featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, with a quote from Artist Phil Clarke. The Clive Evatt Portrait was also pictured in The National Times and described by Neil Moore as ‘Ambitious and appropriately hermetic’. In Sydney he regularly exhibited at the Now Defunct Hogarth Galleries, as well as with Mark Widdup of Cooks Hill Galleries. Mark Widdup now represents Artist Phil Clarke In Australia, with plans for a Cooks Hill Galleries Showing in November 2017, followed by a 2018 show at Zeestone Gallery in Hollywood Road Hong Kong.
The importance of Dali’s Home Village Of Cadaques continues, not only for Artist Phil Clarke. It has grown into a Cadaques Mecca For Artists, not to mention Musicians And Writers, as well as Creative Spirits who understand that Dali’s Archetypal Images surpass the Bounds Of Art and become a part of Modern Life. Witness the popularity of Dali’s Melting ‘Soft Watch’ image, in ‘The Persistance Of Memory’, which is now mass produced as a 3D novelty available around the world. Dali gets no credit for this unique Vision Of Space and Time, amongst many Archetypal Surrealistic Images which he gave to popular world culture. Phil Clarke’s experiences in Cadaques were well documented in a 1985 Financial Review Article by Margaret Smith titled ‘Bringing Home A Mediterranean Light’
From Global Village to Global City, in 1987 Artist Phil Clarke was commissioned to do a series of paintings in the Global City Of Hong Kong. With its long financial history between East And West, and the Slow Handover Battle Between China and Britain, this Chinese City was a surprising source of Political Inspiration. For the next ten years, the profound Artistic and Cultural Education and Social Evolution which began in Europe continued for the artist in his new Global Village Home Of Hong Kong. Thanks to patronage from Michael Nock of NockArt Gallery, Christian Rhomberg of Club 97, Jonathon Midgley of Haldanes, Billionaire Gambler Alan Woods, Doctor John Simon of Central Medical Practice and Socialite Crystal Lee, amongst many others, Artist Phil Clarke became known as the Society Artist Of Hong Kong. This role provided the artist with a unique insight into the Halls Of Power. His conclusion was not a new one. ‘Power Tends To Corrupt, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely’, to quote Lord Acton in the 19th Century.