“I was always an artist of sorts, doodling in my room, drawing when all the kids were out racing around and bouncing balls. I preferred to make art,” he says. “But no one chooses to become a painter; art chose me. And for that I'm forever grateful.”
These days he is just as enamored of this calling, this career, that chose him.
“It gives me great pleasure to create, manipulate and express myself on canvas, interact with dealers and clients on the business end and network with my contemporaries at art fairs, shows, and galleries. I'm fortunate that the success I have had to this point allows me to do so.” says Philoche.
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The work has an interesting genesis as well; they began as a by-product of forgetfulness.
“It is a funny story; I had an assignment for an art class to bring in an object from home that we were going to break down to its most basic form. I totally forgot to bringing the object, and minutes before class I was rifling through my car looking for anything that would fit the bill,” he says. “I came upon some rosary beads that my parents had given me for graduation, and once in class I focused on the crucifix. The untitled series is really a breakdown of the cross, the lines and rectangles are the basic forms constituting the crucifix.”
The creation of these paintings comes from keeping the basic elements of the crucifix in mind.
“As far as the nuts and bolts, the artwork to me is really a process of layering, texturing, emotions and repeating the processes until I get the effect I'm feeling. The start of a painting is covering the canvas with a base layer of paint, no matter what color, and from there building it up,” says Philoche. “I don't have much of a thought out or advance plan…maybe a color was in my mind from an experience earlier in the day, or a texture in the back of my brain swimming to the front. The process is difficult to explain, but each work truly is a journey, and experience in the creation.”
When asked to talk on the texture of these works Philoche notes that it is tough to discuss something as visual as texture. And while you can get an idea about these paintings from photographs, you need to see work in person to get the full effect.
“The art truly speaks when you see it in person.” says Philoche.
The 200 or so paintings of the Untitled Series took Philoche 14 years to complete. Pieces form the series are held by private collections including: First Mark Capital, Deutsche Bank, Barclay Investments and many others.
“Just like any good artist I did need to grow and evolve. I didn't want to get pigeon-holed into painting the same thing over and over again. I was really fascinated with women's rights and still am, living in New York I've gotten to meet many amazing and powerful women. I had to pay them homage.The works are figurative, but still have an abstract quality to them. “
These pieces do not have an accidental origin. They spring from the artist’s commitment to human rights issues; he is specifically commenting on women’s issues in these pieces. He acknowledges women in the USA have it better than in many other places. Nonetheless women are battered, attacked, trafficked, not paid the same as men and are underrepresented in government.
These pieces require a close look.The colors seem almost cheerful but the images certainly are not. Again, they are powerful as photographs but are far more powerful in person.
Another group of paintings from Philoche is more whimsical in nature. He did a series of paintings based on board games--his Game Series.
“The Game Series is a fun reminiscence of my childhood, and a break from the more serious issues that adults have in their content everyday life.” says Philoche.
They share some qualities with the Untitled Series but are fun and nostalgic in nature. Most people will immediately recognize the games presented.
No Comment Series
“Definitely, my work is not street art or gimmicky, it will be in style for years to come. I'm not sure that I've stood above style, I am not pompous. True collectors are smarter than that,” he says. “They know and appreciate the difference between the gimmicks and the trends, they choose art based on emotions, feelings, subject matter and what is pleasing to the eye.”
Philoche says there is no special brand of brush, paint or surface he uses in his work. He says there is nothing unique or special in the materials; that comes from somewhere else.
“The art is in the experience, emotions and journey of creating the piece.” says Philoche.
The different series Philoche creates use the same process and the same material.
“The subject matter brings up different paths for me. Researching, meeting people, seeing what moves and excites and interests all factor in to the work." he says.
When he isn’t painting and meeting clients Philoche avails himself of the hotspots and nightlife of his adopted home.
“…But at the end of the day it comes back to painting….hard work, focus and keeping your eye on the prize. I always keep in mind all the sacrifices I've made to get to this point, which aren't as exciting as the perks I've mentioned,” he says. “I never take for granted all the accomplishments I've achieved and the people who have helped me along the way.
He has a show upcoming at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, revealing the game series paintings and sculptures. His work will also be show in the Hamptons at Chase Edward Gallery. Beyond that his art will be at various art fairs over the summer.
“Community and charity work is always ongoing,” says Philoche. “I believe in karma and know to give back whenever I've had a sale or good show. I believe in sharing the love.”