Today we’d like to introduce you to Philip Lique.
Hi Philip, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I moved to Miami in 2016. I came from New Haven Connecticut, looking for more opportunities as an artist and I also liked the weather. It took time to find my footing here. I worked as an adjunct professor at a few local schools and drove for UBER. I have a very broad set of skills, and I used them all to make things happen. I met a lot of people working odd jobs during my first Art week. During the day, I was a tour guide, in the evening – I was an art handler. I managed to get some adjunct teaching work and supplemented that with anything else I could.
I had a home studio then- My living room was a total disaster. I had the “feelers” out to find new ways to make work.
I met Amanda Keeley sometime in 2018. Shortly after that, I began helping her with her ongoing project, EXILE Books. It was a good step for me. It provided some stable force in my carrier and gave me the agency to reach out into the greater Miami art community. EXILE allowed me to flex my skills as a designer as well as an organizer. We’re a small staff and do almost everything by ourselves – so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to experiment and grow my skill set.
In 2020 I was awarded a Summer Artist Residency at the Bakehouse Artist Complex. I managed to turn that temporary residency into a permanent studio and have been there ever since.
I work as an interdisciplinary artist. I don’t differentiate between my work in the studio, design work, print publications, fabrication, or organizing. Building connections between the people around me comes naturally, and being between BAC and EXILE has given me the agency I was looking for when moved to Miami.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve moved so many times….had so many studios….lost our abandoned artwork….
I think the hardest thing to deal with has been ego-driven people and narcissists. They are rampant in my field.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am an artist with an unusual practice, blending my studio know-how with my professional disciplines. I work across media and mediums between nonprofits, museums, universities, and artist-run spaces in Miami. I’m a skilled designer, exhibition organizer, and fabricator with a focus on activity-based event programming. Rather than make distinctions between my roles, I am compelled to exercise my skills in their totality.
The process is an emphasis of my studio practice. I manipulate modest means like cardboard and lumber to build upon that which I have already mastered or exhausted. I explore intuitively, make obsessively, and reconstruct endlessly. I am guided by my interests in the synergy between history, magic, myth and design.
Most recently, I co-organized the 7th iteration of “COLLABO”, a grassroots, non-juried, pop-up based in Maimi with a 15 years history. At the same time, I was a supportive organizer of the PRINTED MATTER /EXILE Books, Artist Book Fair at NADA Art fair (both DEC 2021). A month prior to that, I designed, built and installed the “Fresh Goods” fundraising gallery for the Bakehouse Art Complex and published a comprehensive Exhibition catalog for The BAC’s most recent show “Viewpoints”.
I’m a busy person who doesn’t differentiate between making art and facilitating art.
Presently I’m focused on making a new body of work for my upcoming solo exhibition at Emerson Dorsch Gallery. (September 2022) I’m using my carpentry and design skills to blend the histories of ” Colonial Arts and crafts” with incongruent design movements such as “Radical Italian design ” and FLUXUS nonsense objects. I often work collaboratively with other artists on large projects to expand the conceptual rigor of my ideas. This show will be the first time I’ve employed aid from my mother, which is exciting for both of us and brings attention to the notion of “family” and “tradition” within the context of skill and heritage.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
A very long time ago, a very wise professor of mine explained to me his “secret” to maintaining sanity in this field.
Essentially, his advice was to make a distinction between one’s self and one’s work.
People might like your work – but it doesn’t mean they will like you (or treat you well)
Conversely – people might like you – but not like your work.
I think on that quite often. THE END
Pedro Wazzan (artist Portrait) Pedro Wazzan (floor tape maze image) Francesco Casale (all other images)