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philip mentzingen, studio mentzingen,


As long as I can remember I have always treated my studio as a place where I should strive to be good at three things: creator, operator and snake-oil salesman. It reminded me of going to an office, where  “You have to do some work here, remember?". A place where copious amounts of alcohol amongst  colourful swashbuckling visitors and random spur of the moment Aha! ideas would be unpacked, dismantled and remade whilst simultaneously reducing my space to end up looking like a cross-examination between a wannabe Picasso and a car crash.

In amongst the empty beer cans, ashtrays, hangovers and the occasional body, I would almost always and only ever temporarily find my God.  A rhinoceros.

I began, like most young students fresh out of art school, making crappy paintings of figures with some weighty abstraction thrown in for good measure.  You know, covering all the bases.  A generous tip from one of my art professors: “You are a Rauschenberg type painter guy!". Another tip from one of my art professors. At the time, I did not know what to make of that and I think he was poking fun at me, which amused me.

Most of my time is spent drawing and painting on loose pieces of paper and canvas and as all of my paintings begin life on the floor of the studio it seems like a logical place to start.


I approach my work much like an archaeologist or an excavator unearthing things and arranging them much like a museum would arrange objects found on a dig from the ancient peoples of wherever. The creative process feels much like a secretary waiting for a phone call to drive an idea around to establish a dialogue: “Ok, move this here and glue that down”, “Stop”, “Not today, do something else”, or “Hang me on the wall, I want to look at myself”. I entertain this concept as an imperative to establish an unconstrained relationship between the piece and myself. 


Ultimately, my intention is to enhance the scope of surface in which the audience interacts with my work.  My mission is to impart a warm, fuzzy feeling much like stepping into a hot bathtub after a long day of overstimulation and monotonous office work. I employ quirky titles, which act as a reminder as I climb out of bed in the morning and think, “I’m not going to make it”, but then I laugh remembering all the times I felt that way.

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