Cece Philips (b. 1996) is a London based painter who completed a BA degree in History at the University of Bristol (2017). She had her debut solo exhibition I See in Colour at HOME by Ronan McKenzie in April 2021. Select exhibitions have since included Memories of the Future, Post Gallery Zurich, 2021; Between the Dog and the Wolf, ADA Contemporary, 2022; and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Peres Projects Berlin, 2022; and Walking the In-Between, Peres Projects Seoul. Philips was most recently awarded the Royal College of Art’s Fribourg Philanthropies Painting Prize 2023.
Through the language of figurative painting, Philips' interrogates the traditional, gendered hierarchy of who gets to observe, paint, and view art. Dusk is the stepping-off point, when the rich observation of the interior lives of others is illuminated before the darkness of night falls. This time of day allows the viewer, or voyeur, a glimpse into the private moments of others in a self-reflective way. As people light up their lives for the viewer to see, the darkness of night eventually compels them to close their curtains and blinds, protecting their private moments from outsiders. In her paintings, Philips creates scenes that empower the female subjects depicted and challenge the idea of ownership and agency in art. As an observer, she casts herself as a voyeur, looking in on the private moments of others, and being observed right back.