By: JC Rodriguez

Foreplay, sex, orgasm, and regret, that's how his art has been described before, and philip lique loves it. AFTER MOVING TO MIAMI FROM CONNECTICUT, LIQUE FITS RIGHT INTO THE MIAMI MARKET, AESTHETICALLY THAT IS.

An unabashed use of color (no black) gets your color receptors working overtime. Religion, sex, rock and roll and pop culture encompasses his work. A student and teacher of art, he wants to push the conversation about what makes good art, just don't say Banksy to him. We sat with him in his studio and talked about the things that influence his work, the Miami art market and how he wants to help and inspire others to do good work.


Photography: JC Rodriguez





What's your earliest memory in art?

I was 12 or 13.  My friends and I grew up in a very white bread town called Seymour, Connecticut. We were trouble makers and we would find places where we could buy cigarettes and beer. There was a  smoke shop on a rural state road that would sell Marlboros to us. In the back there was a magazine rack, and near the porno magazines were these art magazines. One in particular was titled "Art?Alternative," had really wild art in it. They featured work by Mitch O'Connell, and Screaming Mad George. The magazine had a lengthy  article about the initial campaigns of Shepard Fairey. I wrote him a letter and he sent me  "Andre the Giant has a Posse" stickers the mail.  I remember making distinctions between art that I liked and art that I didn't like and in some cases thinking that I could do it better than they artist themselves. 

Who influenced you to become an artist?

I was influenced by rock and roll t-shirts and indirectly from the skateboard culture and tattoo magazines. I went to school and gained an understanding of design and art history. I had another aha moment when I went to the Guggenheim and saw a James Rosenquist retrospective. It blew my mind. His work filled entire rooms and was super bright. I had never seen artwork in such large scale. Comic books were a big influence on my understanding of drawing and how line works. I think the early issues of Marvel's "The Punisher: War Zone" might be the reason I began to draw in the first place.

How would you describe your art?

Someone told me that my work is like foreplay and sex, then orgasm, and then regret and everything that comes after that. That's where I want the work to exist, somewhere in between all of those stages.

What do you think of the Miami art market? 

I'm a little embarrassed about coming down to Miami and using so much color in a market that loves color. I feel like I'm infringing. In Miami there is a struggle between pretty things, and things that carry a meaning. There is very little intersection. When art is totally surface, it's no good. Conversely, I see a lot of work that is so dense that it can't be understood unless the viewer reads a book's length of curatorial text, and that's no good either. There is very little in between.

Item you use the most in the studio?

This Milwaukee box cutter is the item I use the most. I use it in just about everything I do. I like cardboard. I studied under Jimmy Grashow, who makes epic cardboard sculptures. He showed me all of his tricks and shared a lot with me about the medium. The knife is something that never left me.

Your wife is also an artist. How does that impact your work?

Yes, her name is Laura Marsh. Being in close proximity, it's only natural that we influence each other. We learn from each others mistakes, but we definitely don't see eye to eye in our approach to making work. Sometimes You have to have to pick your battles in order to keep the peace.  We look at art in a different way. I'm always critical about the way something could have been done differently, and she reminds me to consider the intention of the artist.

We talk about what's current in the art scene and the nuances of the culture of the art world.

Is there an intent behind every element of your work, or is it more of a flow?

I'm a compulsive maker. I don't often make work with a plan I'm not like an architect in that sense. I make things intuitively. There is intention in the way that I assemble the items that I've  painted, constructed or collected and A method behind why I cluster them together. My processes is cathartic. I'm trying to relate to people through the imagery and build a shared experience for myself and those who view the work. 


What do you want to accomplish with your art?

Making the work is a healthy experiencefor me. My impulse is to make things that help other people understand me. Or, maybe Im making artwork so that i can understand other people? Thats my main motivation for making art. Making, in general, calms me and helps me focus. I want to be in a position to help guide others that want to make good work. I want to create an environment where I'm surrounded by engaged people in a space designed for making objects. 

For more art from Philip Lique

click here to visit his website.