Phil Hale’s Confrontational, Haunting Oil Paintings

by Andy SmithPosted on

Boston-born, London-based painter Phil Hale crafts distressed, dynamic works in which figures are conveyed in action and anguish. His nighttime backdrops are particularly absorbing, with shadows both enveloping and dramatizing the scenes. Hale’s work is decidedly confrontational and relational, in contrast with figurative painting that focuses on quiet, somber moments. In fact, several of Hale’s paintings seem to be convergences of multiple scenes. Hale was last mentioned on HiFructose.com here.





Before he focused his career solely on fine art, Hale illustrated magazines, books, and comics. He was an apprentice to Rick Berry when he was 16, learning from the celebrated sci-fi/fantasy figurative painter. From Stephen King to Playboy, Hale built an impressive list of clients before the current incarnation of his career.




OHale is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York. The space offered this commentary on his most recent solo show: “Rather than a collage that expects ‘new’ meaning to emerge out of the juxtaposition of different visual orientations, his paintings aim for the disappearance of one image into another, one narrative into another, one system of seeing into another, and are haunted by the desire to move away from what it originally was.”

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