Lee Phillips was born in 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio, the only son of a general contractor. At an early age, Lee worked with woods, metals, epoxies, resins and other construction materials as he helped his father and explored his won creative curiosities. At fourteen, Lee began applying construction materials to wood and created what his father termed “very bizarre stuff.”
When Lee was sixteen, he moved with is parents to Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from high school he began working full time with his father. “In my house,” recalls Phillips, “everybody shared the responsibility for keeping the family business going. Really, I had very little time for a normal childhood – most of my time was spent helping my dad. I discovered, though, that messing around with materials and creating my own art was fascinating, and helped me enjoy whatever type of work we were doing at a given time.”
After saving enough of his own money and creating several bizarre series of canvas works, Phillips was accepted to The Ohio State University as a fine arts major. Finally, Phillips found himself in an environment, which allowed his talents to emerge.
In 1980, Lee graduated from The Ohio State University with honours and began a career as a struggling artist. Remnants of his childhood experimentation still showed through in his work.
When making a relief print, Lee uses sheetrock as his basic plate. He applies joint compound and sands it down to creates a template. Phillips then paints an image on this drywall plate and the image is transferred to paper using an intaglio collograph press.
Phillips achieves “dynamic textural concepts” through the use of this as well as other individualistic painting approaches. Woods, hot glue, linoleum and resins are all very much a part of Phillips creations; "It amazes me how little most artists know about the materials available for creative uses today.”
Currently, Phillips' works are on display in major galleries in the United States, Japan and Singapore. He and his wife Marci, reside in Cherry Hill, New Jersey with their daughters, Rachael, and Joanne.