November 3, 2021

“Analog Surrealism” at JKC Gallery in Trenton

“THE DUALITY OF ANXIETY”: Glitch art by Phillip McConnell will be featured in “Analog Surrealism,” on view at JKC Gallery in Trenton November 8 through December 4. An opening reception and artist talk will be held on Monday, November 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The James Kearny Campus Gallery at Mercer County Community College, 137 North Broad Street in Trenton, has announced a solo exhibition featuring work by New Jersey based digital contemporary artist Phillip McConnell. “Analog Surrealism,” curated by Michael Chovan-Dalton, will be on view November 8 through December 4. 

“Analog Surrealism” features 16 new works by McConnell. These works will be the exploration of not only a new body of work, but a new style for him. This body of work juxtaposes two different mediums (photography and digital art) against each other to create something vibrant and fresh. This is a new take on the aesthetic medium of glitch art that McConnell is used to working in.

Glitch art is the aesthetic of digital errors, created by corrupting the data of pictures. To create the work, a picture file is converted into text files using a basic program called Notepad++. Using the text file within the program, the data of the picture is manually manipulated by adding or subtracting color codes and by taking pieces of other pictures and blending them with each other. Once the images are distorted enough, they are combined using  the Notepad program and the text file is exported as a JPG picture file. The pieces in the show vary in size as well as subject matter.

McConnell’s work deals with the raw data of pictures, no different than a programmer writing lines of code to create a digital platform. He sees his work as alchemical in nature as he creates a new image by breaking down two different mediums to their base elements and merging them to create a single amalgamation of a picture. On your first viewing of the work, there is a lot of information to process, from the meaning to the different techniques that exist within the work. But as you examine the canvas you notice small, subtle nuances within each piece that beg the question, “Did I see everything the piece had to offer on first glance?”

By taking a storytelling approach in enlivening the portrait pieces with the glitch aesthetic and infusing stagnant situations with a new sense of purpose and life, this body of work evokes a sense of vulnerability as he sets out to communicate the importance of being a Black creative but as a young man. This body of work is, above all else, reflective.

An opening reception and artist talk, open to the public, are scheduled for Monday, November 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more about the artist, visit,  For more about JKC Gallery, visit