current archive artist index flat file links about
current exhibitions, SPACE 1, 2, flatfile room, and schedual previous exhibitions by date alphabetical listing of artists browse the images in the flatfile links to sites we love all about bellwether, maps, directions, staff, contact, submitions

Danica Phelps

Born: New York City, 1971
Resides: Brooklyn



Galerie Schuette, Essen, Germany, October 2002

"Trade Two", LFL Gallery, NYC, February 2001

Galerie Stadpark, Krems, Austria, March, 2000

"Bill Trip" Project Room, Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, September 2000

"Funny Money", Jack Tilton Gallery, NYC, November 1998

Selected Group

"Brooklyn!", curated by Dominique Nahas and Michael Rush, Institute for Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, FL, September 2001, (catalogue)

"Vida Politica", curated by David Torres, Sala Montcada "la caixa", Barcelona, Spain, February 2000

"Domestic Culture", Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, ME, March, 2000

"Another Cusp", curated by Sabine Russ and Gregory Volk, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, May, 2001

"Inside the City", University of Illinois Gallery 400, Chicago, ILL, May 2001


Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME 1994 Studios of Lower Austria, Krems, Austria, 2001


Zorach Fellowship to attend Skowhegan, 1994

Emerging Artist Grant, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, 1998

Individual Artist Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, 2001

Selected Publications

"Danica Phelps, Funny Money", Howard Halle, Time Out, New York, Dec 17-31, 1998

"Danica Phelps, Funny Money", The New York Times, Dec 11, 1998

"Danica Phelps at Jack Tilton Gallery" Gregory Volk, Art in America, July 1999

"Public and Private", David Torres, "la caixa", February 2000

"Danica Phelps at LFL Gallery" Art Forum, May 2000


BA, Hampshire College, 1993

MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, 1995


September 1999

This work began the year I finished graduate school, having been in school for 21 years. Being the lucky kid I am, I didn�t have to work my way through school. Being an artist with no other skills, when I got out of school, I panicked. How was I going to survive? I immediately got a waitressing job. Since then, I have been documenting money earned and spent as a way to get a hold on it all. I am really trying to understand the value of certain amounts of money, whether it be coming in or going out.

I am also trying to understand what I am spending money on ($50 on a parking ticket, $20 on a bounced check, $40 dollars on a scarf that I have worn every day of Winter for four years, rent, mortgage, slide reproductions, etc). By drawing everything I spend money on, I am looking for inspiring details in the mundane. And, the drawings take on a totally different value than what it depicts. In a gallery situation, my drawings range in price from $7 to $1000. This is because I show every drawing I make (it�s all part of the accounting system), and some of them, in my opinion, are not great drawings. This also allows for some one to luck out if they differ in taste with me.

Since moving to New York, I have become as concerned with time as with money. So, I draw charts of how I spend my time and where I go every day. In some ways, the ideal map would be from my home to my studio and back, but the conundrum is that that map would be less interesting as a visual image. The maps end up showing the life of a young artist in New York, trying to get by as my career develops.

As these drawings are purchased, I find it necessary to copy them, so that I can keep all of my financial records together. I trace them by hand. The copies are then for sale as well, with the caveat �2nd generation, 3rd generation� and so on. In this way, people�s tastes are recorded: there may be some images that 5 people bought and others that no one ever purchased. Any money generated by purchases of my artwork is shown as income in my current project. In this way, the relationships between the drawings makes the whole project three dimensional.


January 2001

I have three main goals in trading my work with other artists. These are to generate a collection that represents different parts of my life without having to make a lot of money, to get out of the studio to meet other people, and to insure that other people will have my art works even if no one ever buys another piece of mine and the market crashes.

When I got my first check from the sale of my work, I decided that I wanted to be on the other side of the transaction, and I purchased four art works in four weeks from four different galleries. I mounted these four art works onto my drawings that record my daily earnings, expenditures, and activities. It was a very interesting experiment, but a few months later, when I had to use my credit card to get by, it seemed like a less interesting experiment. Well, I could either quit being an artist, get a high powered job, and cater to my impulse to acquire art, or I could take advantage of my position as an artist and trade for my collection. So, during the past year, I have been trading with as many friends as I can, generating a modest collection of 40 works that I regard very highly. With these trades, have come wonderful conversations about value which is one of the main subjects of my work. My work now addresses something more abstract, not solely the irritatingly concrete subject of money.

Now, for an exhibition at the LFL Gallery, opening in late February, I am making a two month trading project with about 30 artists from the flat file at the gallery. This is the first time that I will be meeting people for the first time, and building a relationship with them through trading. I�ll make maps of my travels to their studios, recording my life through the process. As none of the works in my collection are for sale, the LFL viewer will be able to replace my traded work with one of their own choosing from the flat file if they purchase a day of the trading project.

The works that I will be trading are from a series of drawings that I made while traveling across the country, visiting all of the towns where I pay my bills. This project is called BILL TRIP, and will be represented in it�s entirety, with the addition of the trades in the exhibition at the LFL Gallery.

Ask about this artist

ALL IMAGES © Danica Phelps