At an early age, Lee Phillips loved to experiment. Encouraged by his father, a carpenter and general contractor, Phillips played with tools and materials found in his father’s studio. As Phillips grew older and began helping his father with the family business, he explored his own creative curiosities, applying construction materials–resins, paints and epoxies–to wood and sheetrock, creating what his father termed: “very bizarre stuff.”
Phillips’ attention turned to painting and printmaking, while attending art school, where he continued to experiment with unorthodox processes. This love of experimentation has continued long after graduation. Phillips’ new work achieves dynamic textural concepts through the use of this as well as other individualistic painting approaches. Woods, hot glue, linoleums and resins are all very much a part of Phillip’s creations.
When making a relief print, Phillips uses sheetrock as his basic plate. He applies joint compound and sands it down to create a template. Phillips then paints an image on this drywall plate and the image is transferred to paper using an intaglio collograph press.
The primitive-like aesthetic of Phillips’ work–heavy lines, rough patchwork form, and occasional geometric ornamentation–recalls patchwork quilts of an older era. Yet the painted abstract content–paint drips, color fields, oblique markings–lend a very contemporary and modern feel to the overall effect.