“Camouflage” is a site-specific work that highlights the increasing invisibility of the arts in America while simultaneously showcasing artists through a series of portraits. The first three portraits of artists Jonas Dedie, Stacey Kirby and Thomas Sayre are displayed on ‘billboards’ installed throughout the sculpture park of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Each artist is photographed clad entirely in camouflage outfits and all are standing among the trees in the park directly next to the ‘billboard’ they are featured on. They blend seamlessly with their surroundings, creating a surrealistic atmosphere that hides the images in plain sight.
Phil America seeks to play off of this invisibility to call attention to the ways in which the arts in America have faced increasing erasure. Further, he looks to emphasize the rooted connection between space, community and nature. While billboards typically serve as advertisements that are prominent and eye catching, these iterations serve the opposite purpose by subtly and naturally inserting their subjects into the natural environment.