Brian Phillips reclaims unwanted materials and puts them back together. Just like he did with his life.

Brian’s art is thematically simple: He finds broken stuff nobody wants, then takes it home to make something beautiful out of it. But the results are textured, striking and emotionally profound.

He’s always been a dumpster diver, trash picker-upper, and stuff collector. He’d gather hubcaps, quarters, nails, and anything he could find to take back to his playhouse. As an adult, taking up art as a career healed Brian from his own state of brokenness. 25 years ago, he was suicidal. Today, his work is commissioned all over Texas. Because, as Brian says, when something’s broken, there’s already character built into it.

About the speaker

Brian Phillips‘s parents always said a drawing pad and crayons were the only thing that would hold his attention.

Brian has more than 20 years experience making art. Primarily self-taught, he committed himself full-time to his art in 2010. His credits his style to independent learning—learning by doing—an approach which led him to creativity and self-discovery.

Brian salvages wood and objects for his art, finding beauty in the blemishes, mistakes and years of use and abuse. As he says, “It all has a story, good or bad. I’ve always been drawn to layers and layers of paint drips, scrapes, nail holes and repurposed items. Folk art speaks to me in that way as well. Use what’s available, just make art.”

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