Phil Padwe


Philip Eliot Padwe - that's me - born in Dallas TX, adopted at birth, and raised in New York.  My work seeks a balance between apparent opposites and to explore emotion and identity using portraiture and the figure as muse. I recently ‘found’ my biological family (a father who didn't know I exist and half sister exactly 9 months older); and also become an Irish citizen; both of which have opened vast new possibilities for narrative exploration. 


Current work uses sewing patterns for layering and collage as unique grounds on which to draw and paint. Patterns and toned papers are torn and reassembled in unexpected ways as a metaphor both for my own adoption and the ways in which we all construct identity. Instructions and templates and starting-points are ignored in favor of intuition. Weathering and reductive techniques simulate aging and create deep textures and shadows on the surface, trapping light and therefore visibly affected by the passage of time; and are meant to be lit from different angles to yield different effects and bring the drawings into the world of "physical objects" and not just static images.


I've spent a lifetime seeking balance. Between nature and nurture; between Irish Catholic blood and Hebrew school; between impulse and control. Balance is one of the central themes of my work (most obviously: abstraction and realism; but also colors, shapes, rhythms, etc) and so is adoption and the search for identity.

I'm currently an MFA candidate at New York Academy of Art where I've studied with Wade Schuman, Jon DeMartin, Michael Grimaldi, and John Jacobsmeyer and benefited enormously from the insights of Margaret Bowland. 

For more about me - most of it weird - click here...



MFA Candidate (class of 2021) at NYAA (currently enrolled)

Studied under:

Michael Grimaldi

Wade Schuman
Jon DeMartin

John Jacobsmeyer

Roberto Osti

Thomas Germano

Randy McIver


Art Students League of New York
Studied under:

Frederick Brosen

Costa Vavagiakis 

Workshops / Intensives:

Dan Thompson (Gross Anatomy Labs at Weill/Cornell)

Marc Dennis 

Wendy Artin

Timothy Clark

Linda Cyr




2010, Group exhibition, “Swipe!” 25 CPW Gallery, New York, NY

2013, Group exhibition, “Swipe Magazine Artists” National Arts Club, New York, NY

2017, Group exhibition, "The Spring Art Exhibition" Wix Lounge (Chelsea) New York, NY

2017, Group exhibition, "Single Fare 4" Highline Stages (Chelsea) New York, NY

2018, Group exhibition, "Anatomical Drawing" Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, New York, NY

2018, Group exhibition, "Watercolors" Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, New York, NY

2019, Group exhibition, "Fluidity" Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, New York, NY

2019, Group exhibition, "Deck The Walls" New York Academy of Art, New York, NY

2020, Group exhibition, "Spaces" New York Academy of Art, New York, NY





• Juxtapoz Magazine - "Art in Uncertain Times" April 10, 2020

• WYNC radio, “Guards and Artists” The Leonard Lopate Show March 25, 2010.

• NPR Morning Edition, Margot Adler, ”Museum Guards Swipe The Spotlight” March 22, 2010

• New York Times, "Hoping to Graduate From Guards to Gauguins" March 5, 2010 

As Author/Illustrator:


  • SPIN 1038 Radio, Dublin, Ireland.

  • Capitol Radio, London UK.

  • KMOX Radio, St. Louis, MO.

  • KBPI Radio; The Locker Room. Denver, CO.

  • WBAL Radio; Morning Radio. Baltimore, MD.

  • NPR: The Bryant Park Project. Alison Stewart. September 13, 2007.

  • WDVE Radio; Pittsburgh, PA.

  • 92Q Radio, Syracuse, NY.



• "Illustrating Ink"; Skin & Ink Magazine; August, 2012

• “Mammy (sic) Has A Tattoo”; Tattoo Society; January, 2009

• “What’s That, Mommy?”; Parenting Magazine; October 2008

• “Tattoo Coloring Book & Mommy Has A Tattoo”; Skin & Ink; January 2008

• “Mommy Has A Tattoo”; Skin Deep Magazine; May, 2007

•  Feature; “Making Their Mark”; Trucker News; May, 2007

•  “Mommy Has A Tattoo”; Tattoos For Women; January, 2007

•  Perry; “Mommy Has A Tattoo”; Total Tattoo Magazine; November, 2006

•  Sharer, Lisa; “Mommy Has A Tattoo”; Prick Magazine; September, 2006

© 2020 Phil Padwe. All rights reserved. 

New York, NY  • 

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