Have you met…John Phillip Abbott?


An introduction can be a wonderful thing. You can meet interesting people, and make new friends. You can be introduced to your new favorite foods, books, music, or artist.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite artists. Some of whom I’ve been familiar with for years, and others I’ve only recently been introduced to.

The artist I’d like to introduce is the painter John Phillip Abbott, and he was recommended to me by Sabine Tress.

Silver Wausau, 16”x12”, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 2013

Silver Wausau, 16”x12”, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 2013

John Phillip Abbott was born in 1975.

John Phillip Abbott lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and two dogs. He graduated with an MFA from the University of Wisconsin in 2007. He has shown his work internationally and currently teaches painting and drawing part-time at the University of New Mexico. He also works full-time with homeless youth in the Albuquerque area.
4 Wausau paintings, each 16” x 12”

4 Wausau paintings, each 16” x 12”

“The words in the paintings come from memories and personal experiences. For example, a painting might reference my first car, a Pontiac Fiero, or a girlfriend from high school, Kamisha. Painting words or names that I have a connection to allows me to draw from blocks of time associated with that word or name as reference in a color or pattern, for example. The choice of words comes down to personal and formal associations. The words are also ambiguous enough to suggest alternate meetings and are not bogged down, or defined, by only my experiences.

Spray paint yields an economic and direct image yet still allows for accidents, such as the bleeding that occurs under some taped edges. I’m also able to cover large areas fairly uniformly and quickly. It continues to amaze me.

Letters make direct connections to verticals, and horizontals, and in some cases diagonals, as is the case with the letter “k”, for example. The diagonals can be used to create triangles, and diamonds as well. Other shapes and lines can be layered on, and within, words in each painting, referencing the grid. Layers of all of these elements allows for figure/ground play, resulting in the melding of image and text, reading and seeing.

When I was in the fifth grade, in the mid eighties, all the cool kids had really wide, fluorescent shoelaces. I was all about those laces. I even dreamt about them. I’ve been preoccupied with those colors ever since. Fluorescent, metallic, and other highly saturated colors find their way into the studio, but from there, decisions happen very intuitively” JPA.

Salad Days, 72”x60”, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 2012

Salad Days, 72”x60”, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 2012

Other material relating to John Phillip Abbott.

Artists website: Johnphillipabbott.com

NYARTS magazine: In Conversation with John Phillip Abbott.

Studio critical: John Phillip Abbott.

Studio Break: John Phillip Abbott.

516 Arts: John Phillip Abbott.

Painters’ Table: John Phillip Abbott.

If you liked this introduction please check out the Previous and Next.

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4 thoughts on “Have you met…John Phillip Abbott?

  1. Pingback: Have you met…Krista Svalbonas? | Painter's Progress

  2. Pingback: Have you met…Jeanne Heifetz? | Painter's Progress

  3. Thanks David I’m still enjoying them myself, and I keep seeing the work of many interesting artists. I like to think of them as simple introductions, and my original intention was aimed at my local Canadian scene, but it’s gone beyond that and I’ve found a great wealth of information for myself.

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