Instinctive Painting by Philip Harris
- Esther Jablotschkin
When you see the paintings of Philip Harris, it isn’t instantly clear if you are looking at a photograph or a captious realistic painting. Harris is a British figurative artist, specialised in oil on canvas and pencil on paper. Regarding his artistic style he explains: ‘I have a highly technical style but my work has a stronger affinity within the European traditions of expressionism rather than the North American traditions of photorealism.’ And ‘I am an intuitive ‘evolver’ rather than an artist who consciously makes leaps of style. The paintings are coaxed into completion over a slow, painful and frustrating process. Each layer of paint alters, refines and clarifies the image until it feels right. I paint by instinct and always trust that above intellect.’ This is obvious in his work – his paintings always seem emotionally charged, as exposed and as uncomfortable, confusing and confrontational as life itself.