16.00"W x 20.00"H x 2.0"D

$500 (Shipping Included)

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Alden Phelps


Medium: Painting

Subject Tags: face, duck, top, tank, camera, cloud, gorilla, kiss, surrealism, blue, modern, sky, pop, mirror, imitate, narcissist, mammal, display, climb, animal, happy, joy, silly, shorts, fat, belly, primate, chimp, blonde, sunglasses, humorous, humor, funny, green, tree, monkey, ape, selfie, woman, girl, zoo

Media: acrylic on canvas

Size: 16"W x 20"H x 2"D

Year Created: 2018

Ready to Hang

My son described to me how he sometimes sees his fellow students on campus walking around taking selfies, and who will suddenly "duck face" for the camera, then return to a normal expression as abruptly as they made that ridiculous expression. In this new painting, an ape in the zoo sees a visitor and is confused at her odd behavior. And so one might ask, "Who's the primate?" This was also inspired by the recent story of the macaque monkey that grabbed someone's camera and took a couple of selfies, and which may legally own the copyright to them. This acrylic painting is sure to elicit smiles and conversation while it hangs on your wall. The painting wraps around the thick 2" stretchers, so no frame is needed.

My paintings are often gently humorous or ironic. Some poke fun at our fixation on consumption and prosperity, while others focus on the intrusion of technology in our lives. Some of my paintings have been exhibited at Marin-Price Gallery in Chevy Chase, MD.

I always begin with sketches. Sometimes I use source material, photos I take or objects in the studio, but most often I draw entirely out of my imagination. I focus on the composition and color, and try not to think too much about the meaning of the painting, which makes itself clear eventually.

I have used both oil and acrylic paints. Currently I’m painting with acrylics.

Artists who inspire me: Grant Wood; George Tooker; Richard Deibenkorn; Wayne Thiebault.

My name is Alden Phelps, I’ve been painting since graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1986. I live and work in an old farmhouse outside Baltimore. After graduating from MICA, I married a puppeteer and with a few friends created a community arts center where we made theatre productions, puppet shows, and taught art classes. I painted pictures at night, living in an old run-down rental and watching the semi-rural landscape around me transform into countless housing developments and shopping centers. This sad and weird reshaping of the land eventually became my muse. I had my first exhibits at the Rockland Arts Center in Ellicott City, MD and then Marin-Price Gallery in Chevy Chase, MD, my current dealer. I currently perform and teach songwriting at schools throughout the Delmarva area. I’ve just started posting photos of my process etc at

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