Even before he called himself “artist”, Philip High was a collector. It is such a common characteristic for artists for at least the last 100 years or so, certainly since Marcel Duchamp made us view seemingly ordinary and mundane objects through a different lens. Art makers were recycling materials long before it became fashionable.
For High, these items are both inspiration and medium: “Rocks, seed pods, scraps of metal and paper, thoughts personal and proverbial, and more, have all filled boxes and notebooks or been on display at some point. For me, they serve as objects of wonder and contemplation, reminding me that every form we perceive is a record of the unseen forces that created it.”
“Similarly, my art combines collected visual fragments from nature and personal experience – both objective and abstract – in a search for relationships that activate the imagination and suggest meaning.”
“I prefer to work in mixed media - also reflecting my eclectic tendencies – incorporating conventional and unconventional materials and techniques such as: acrylic painting on Tyvec collage, sumi-e on aluminum, monotype, digital drawing, found wood, and concrete. Broadly, they fall into three categories: works on paper, wall-hung assemblage, and freestanding constructions.”
High’s works are dense visual constructions that incorporate all of these collected intelligentsia, highly personal assemblages of color, texture, and form that achieve a crucial balance of the cerebral and the visceral. The relationships are seductive but built upon a tight schematic foundation that echoes the discipline of Zen meditation. There is a profound sense of peace to be found there.
After graduating from the University of Kentucky, High moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he began a career in graphic arts. He returned to Lexington in 1989 and in 2012 moved to Louisville where he now lives. He is currently working on a Triptych commission for a medical center in Virginia, and four of his pieces have been added to the University of Kentucky Medical Center collection.
He has received regional, National and International awards for fine art and illustration in both traditional and digital media, as well as two Professional Assistance Grants from the Kentucky Arts Council.
On September 29, High will be part of the Louisville Visual Art’s Juried Exhibit in the 2018 Portland Art & Heritage Fair. The exhibit will be available for viewing at the Marine Hospital from 11am-5pm. Jury prizes will be awarded at 2:00pm.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: University of Kentucky, Fine Art: painting, 3 years, degree uncompleted.
Gallery Representation: Main-Cross Gallery, Lexington, KY, Mulberry and Lime, Lexington, KY, New Editions Gallery, Lexington, KY, Zephyr Gallery, Louisville, KY
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.