A great article on new Phantom, Michael Abraham, and the On Great Men show at Urban Snapshot here

On Great Men opens June 3rd at 7pm at 566 Beatty Street Vancouver.



Friday June 3rd, Saturday  June 4th and Sunday June  5th


Opening reception: Friday June 3rd 7pm – 11pm

Lecture by Brad Leith: Sunday June 5th 7pm


The figurative artists’ collective Phantoms in the Front Yard are proud to present On Great Men, a new body of work addresses the constructions, stigmas and archetypes surrounding what it means to be defined as a “great man.”

Chad Krowchuk uses irony to highlight and subvert the absurdity of such a loaded term, while others like Marcus Macleod and Jordan Bent look within themselves as artists to uproot the answers. 

Both Jeremiah Birnbaum, known for incorporating and critiquing icons of constructed masculinity, and Jay Senechtko, whose work champions western art history’s hegemony within post modernism, address the conflicting nature of the “great man” stereotype in society.

Michael Abraham’s images ask us to ponder what exactly defines greatness; whether it is recognizing one’s own power or one’s own insignificance? Perhaps it is creating an impact in society or in the life of another.

The first of its kind at the forefront of figurative art, Phantoms in the Front Yard is a touring art collective that boldly challenges the contemporary Canadian art scene, to revive the human subject as muse.

Hear ye, hear ye…to all that are concerned with the figurative arts…behold!  I shall call it: “The Old Boys Club”

And He saw that it was good…

The Old Boys Club


And for Marcus…



Hey…  Got this from a good friend in Hawaii.  Ties into our current theme of “On Great Men”.  Plays up the idea of the icon and its social construction.  Talk amongst yourselves…




Lecture Series

Jacana Gallery is pleased to host the lecture series sponsored by local figurative artist collective Phantoms in the Front Yard. This is an opportunity to engage in an open dialogue discussion and seminar about various issues of contemporary art and visual culture with experts in the field. 

The lecture is free and open to all however please RSVP by phone or email as seating is limited.  

On Sunday, January 16th, Shane O’Brien from Gallery Jones will be giving a lecture on the Business of Art

Refreshments are provided by Phantoms in the Front Yard  but as always, contributions are welcome and appreciated.

The Business of Art

Shane O’Brien (MFA, University of Colorado, co-owner of Gallery Jones) talks about various aspects of the business of art, from the logistics of how galleries operate, to a more subjective analysis of what makes for successful work.  Topics such as different market avenues for art, profiles of different art buyers (private, corporate, public) can all be touched on.  

Hope to see you there.

Jacana Gallery
2435 Granville Street(at Broadway)


Happy New Year.

As a representational (realistic/recognizable/whatever) artist, the statement: “I think my work is actually quite abstract” (by way of structure, symbolic representation, lyrical expression, what have you) is to apologize for the art that you make.  It is to justify it’s existence and quality by the standards of the prevailing hegemonic art.  The gist: Abstract=Good, Representational=Bad.

I’m a realist (however useless that label may or may not be depending on your love of labels), both in life and vocation.  There are definitely abstract elements to my work; but, there are also a hell of a lot of representational elements to it as well.  There’s a lot of a whole bunch of bits of all kinds of influences in any single painting of mine.  I don’t see much of a point in pointing out where the abstract starts and where the representation ends, and I see just as little a point in justifying any one of those bits by the standard of another bit.  They all do different things, and I am of the opinion that it is the abrasion between the bits that helps create the strength of a picture.

There are very good abstract pictures just as they are very good representational ones.  There are also bad and extremely bad versions of both.  I like to think that bringing a little of the abstract into the real makes the real better, and bringing a little real into the abstract improves the abstraction.

I doubt very much if I were an ‘abstract artist’ I would be making the claim that “I think my art is actually quite representational,” but hey, maybe that’s just because the rules of the game have changed and for the past 70 years there’s been a new boss in town (unless I’m mistaken the original AB-Ex-er’s actually did make claims of this nature…poor drunk, suicidal bastards) .  Maybe until the regime changes some will feel it necessary to qualify their realism with a comparison to abstraction.  I say let the minions of the status quo do it for you if they must…I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to do so.

In the meantime I’ll hang on to my romantic notion that representational art can stand on its own, be taken just as seriously in a critical sense, be just as contemporary, and move viewers just as much as any ‘ol abstract swoosh, swish, drip, drop, slop or pop.  Call me a Realist with a taste for the Romantic.


When naming the figurative artist collective the group danced around several possibilities, eventually settling on Phantoms In The Front Yard. It has a great ring to it. I suggested the title, not realizing that it originates from a comic by a good friend of mine. All credit due to Nick Johnson for letting me use the name. This is a great strip!

Check out Nick Johnson’s blog here.

-Morgan Jeske

Preacher by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon (top & bottom)

Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth (middle)

An entire story arc in the comic series is tied to a single image by Wyeth. In fact, the character in the comic is named Christina and the title of the issue in which the connection to the image is solidified is called ‘Christina’s World’.


-Morgan Jeske

info@ phantomsinthefrontyard.com

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