Myrick Makes ‘Feel Good’ Art
Marietta painter makes art with political statements, images of classic Hollywood stars and discarded items, yet he finds his greatest joy in people's appreciation of his work.
Native to Marietta, Philip Myrick is a man on a mission. Myrick is a self-prescribed environmentally conscious, politically aware, "inspired-by-anything" artist with a plan for taking his work nationwide.
Myrick’s journey to his current place in life took the shape of a more linear progression. Myrick says he always knew he wanted to do something as a career in the arts field; however, he was unsure of how to get there without the proper education.
Myrick attributes his interest and love of the arts to his mother who would take him to theaters, concerts and galleries at a young age. “Just being around the arts environment was inspiring,” Myrick recollects.
Throughout his developmental years, Myrick says he would only paint and draw privately never seeking to expose his work beyond his bedroom. But, as his high school years waned, Myrick began to explore the idea of furthering his education in the arts.
So, Myrick enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), on the Savannah campus, where he set his mind on learning what he would need to know in order to create visual images like those he had grown to love in his youth.
“Savannah is one of my most favorite cities in the world. There was a lot to do. It was just a great place to live and study art,” Myrick says of his days at SCAD.
Myrick left SCAD pursuing internships with local galleries in obtaining the contacts necessary for getting his work exposed. In 2009, Myrick stepped out to pursue his work professionally while working for J. King Artworks on Marietta Square.
Myrick gravitated to oil paints and mixed medium as his preferred mediums in creating his art. Oil paint graces Myrick canvass because he says “there is more form” to the medium by comparison to water- and acrylic-based paints.
Mixed medium grabs Myrick’s interest because he can use literally anything that comes to his mind–anything that’s interesting.
“There are so many objects people see as useless; I can give it a second chance or a new life through mix media,” Myrick adds.
Though Myrick uses scrap metal, broken glass, or worn out items as material for his work, he finds joy in combing through old toy scraps from his childhood. These toy scraps give his work a different dimension with the added level of love and compassion he pours into those pieces.
Inspiration for creating unique and interesting pieces can come from many places. Myrick’s inspiration comes from places he visits, things he might see, politics and also the Golden Age of Hollywood. He references Jordan Gross, a German artist from the early 1900s, as a source for his politically charged pieces. Gross was known for depicting people as strangely drawn with a caricature element to his work.
For example, in a piece titled "Beast of Turmoil," Myrick depicts the lower body of Uncle Sam under attack from several animals representing problems America is facing. Myrick says the painting speaks to the constant state of fear we now live in with war, terrorist attacks abroad and corruption within our on government. Like Gross, Myrick seeks to push the envelope in being authentic in his work.
“Being unique in this day and age is difficult because 90 percent of all the great ideas have already been done,” Myrick concedes.
Still, how Myrick is defined as an artist isn’t by the grand commissions he can receive, or the finest art galleries in the country carrying his work; rather, Myrick is fueled by a different passion–he simply wants as many people as possible to view his work before his time expires. That’s it.
In the world of art, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the business arena success is defined as what you make of opportunities. Myrick strives as an artist and entrepreneur in marrying the two worlds; yet, at the end of the day Myrick is most proud when people tell him how much they enjoy his work. In his own words, “It just feels good…”