Philip Briel was raised on a sugar farm in a remote area in Northern Kwazulu-Natal and graduated in architecture from the University of Cape Town. He has also obtained an M.Sc. degree in Sustainable Urban Development from the University Oxford.
Philip’s abstract mixed media canvasses are inspired by his love for environment, both natural and man built, and enjoys the cross between the discipline of architectural design and the modern freedom of modern painting.
His work are full of intense shades, fractures or spilling light and the charged textures. The artist in Philip sets out to capture the episodic and fragmentary, the subtler energies driving nature. You think about windswept beaches, tidal estuaries, and phoenix fynbos: in short, freedom. The work is suggestive with an elusive quality: attention to the nuance is what Briel is about.
His abstract mixed canvasses are inspired by a fierce sense of place. I am not into iconic mentors. I started out in architecture, a disciplined and exacting profession in which you have to learn to visualize scale and be disciplined in accuracy.”
” Art opened me up to different possibilities. Now I look at planes and the elevations as if they are the surface of a canvas, shifting and fluid, not fixed. As in the art, my designs work now is all about freedom, mobility, and uncluttered spaces.”
” Sometimes I work on a canvas just erasing and editing down. The alchemy of the moment is decisive.”