Pat Phillips' paintings combine personal and historical imagery into surreal juxtapositions, drawing on his experience living in America to meditate on complex questions of race, class, labor and a militarized culture. Phillips, who grew up primarily in a small town in Louisiana, found his way to art through painting and photographing boxcars. He embraces this entry point, creating paintings that discuss the Americana subculture, as well as the current social and political threads running through American culture. His works often contain references to confederate flags, fences, and guns—all objects that suggest the violent underpinnings of this country and its institutions.
Pat Phillips was born in Lakenheath, England in 1987. Relocating to Louisiana as a young child, he spent his early teenage years painting and photographing boxcars in a small town. His work was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Solo exhibitions include Summer Madness at M+B, Los Angeles, CA; Told You Not to Bring That Ball, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA; and Sub Superior at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York, NY. Phillips has participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. In 2017, he received a Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant. His work can be found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Block Museum of Art, Evanston, IL; and New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, among others.