I was raised in New York by a Jewish family after being given away for adoption at birth by an Irish nun, in Dallas, TX. My dad died when I was ten after years spent fighting a prolonged illness, and my mother briefly remarried when I was eleven; divorcing when I was twelve... and to make a long story short by age fourteen I'd become a runaway. By seventeen I'd made it as far as Ohio, California, and Florida. I went to seven high schools. But rather than cling to cycles of instability I turned to art as an adult, much like the AbEx painters did: to explore chaos and entropy through process and wrestle with what, ultimately, we can't control: chance. I began creating elaborate grounds and toned collages to draw on. White paper is boring!


There is a natural sense of duality: Catholic and Jewish; Texan and New Yorker; Irish and American; high brow and lowbrow; intrinsic to my personhood and it extends plainly to my work. My art has always sought a balance between apparent opposites: the highly finished and the raw/unfinished; black and white and brilliant color; between abstractions and realism; usually while exploring identity and mood using the figure as muse

About Phil

© 2020 Phil Padwe. All rights reserved. 

New York, NY  • 

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