Philip Frey (b. 1967) is best known for his bold paintings of Maine’s coastline, landscape, and working waterfronts. His primary focus is color and light, and the inherent forms found in nature, interiors, and figures. He paints from direct perception, preferring the dynamic quality, richness, and challenges of working from life.
In 2016, the University of Maine Museum of Art mounted a solo exhibition of Frey’s work. His work has been highlighted in several books including Philip Frey: Here and Now (Marshall Wilkes 2018) by Daniel Kany and Carl Little; and Paintings of Portland (2018) and Art of Acadia (2016) both by brothers Carl Little and David Little, and in numerous publications, including: Art New England, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review, and Maine Sunday Telegram.
“As a painter, Philip Frey’s goal is often a project of soft persuasion. We recognize his scenes easily enough. But as we shift our focus from the recognizable subject to the insistent forms, luscious brushwork, and compositional design, the painting slips out of representational focus and back to abstraction, the true place of Frey’s poetry.”
—Daniel Kany, Philip Frey: Here and Now
Frey studied painting at Columbus College of Art and Design and graduated with a B.F.A. in Painting from Syracuse University in 1990. He has received several grants and awards, including the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Residency in 2012. Frey’s work is held in private and corporate collections both nationally and internationally, including those of writer Harlan Coben, Dick Wolf Films, Representative Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman, and the University of Maine Museum of Art.
Frey is a longtime practitioner of the Buddha Dharma and has traveled to Nepal and India to study with renowned teachers. In 1995 he became involved in the Ellsworth Meditation Center and remains an active member. Frey teaches painting to a devoted student base up and down the coast of Maine. He lives in downeast Maine, where he maintains a full-time studio nestled in the woods.