frank p. phillips has been creating art for over 20 years. he received his ba with high honors from hobart college in 1997 and received his mfa from the maryland institute college of art in 2005. phillips works at episcopal high school, where he teaches introduction to the arts, painting, drawing, photography, ap studio art, and art history. phillips has also been a director and curator of the angie newman johnson gallery. he, his wife meg, daughter bess, and brood of animals split time between alexandria and charlottesville.
“my work uses a flat plane to convey the visual ideas of construction, mass, and volume. the formally arranged imagery is all invented, but takes cues from architecture and engineering (materials and the structures themselves), as well as the erosion and the decay of perceived ruin. the display of process is an integral component to the work; it tracks the time, mistakes, revisions, and the experience used to arrive to a resolved composition. the end results are pieces that embrace surface and relate the ideas of: the used, the weathered, the discarded, and the beaten. I aim to create a quiet calm to the work that is still able to convey a stoic presence.
at its core, the compositions are about physicality and decision making. the immediacy of drawing and painting allows me to attack spaces on the canvas. the size of the plane forces me to use my entire body; the act of painting, drawing, erasing, and sanding all require a certain balance of touch and force. one idea completion may necessitate removal, thereby initiating another physical activity. as an artist, i need the action, and the work needs to be work; the labor is chronicled in the surface as removed elements are never really gone, only ghosts of the materials’ (pencil, charcoal, and paint) permanence.”