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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

kMc Profiles: Phil Fung, Artist

Stars and Stripes, 2008, 36 x 36 inches, Watercolor on Canvas.

Do you recognize the painting above? You should.

In 2008 hosted an international art competition called Manifest Hope. Out of 3000 entries, Phil Fung's "Stars and Stripes" was selected by a panel of judges, including Shepard Farey and the Guggenheim Museum curator, as the competition winner. This portrait was exhibited at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO with international media coverage from CNN, the Washington Post among others.

Phil Fung is a Miami-born fine artist of Chinese-Jamaican heritage whom I first had the pleasure of meeting at the 2008 Arts For Change, a private GOTV reception hosted by Women for Obama Miami, of which I am a member.

Arts For Change was to encourage voter registration and raise awareness in support of then Democratic Presidential Nominee Senator Barack Obama throughout Miami’s art and cultural community. As the winner of Manifest Hope, Phil was thought to be the perfect featured artist.

His work spoke to me then as it does now. His jovial spirit shines through in every stroke of his brush and his artistic range and consistent production speaks to his professionalism, skill, and love of his artistry.

As an artist, color and form are complimentary. Form without color lacks emotion. Color without form lacks purpose. Together in my art I try to synthesize the two to share my lust for life in things seen and unseen. Color is the ultimate tool of expression. Form is the backbone of communication. In my art I strive to tell a universal emotional story regardless of background or epoch.” - Phil Fung

Phil Fung Pop-up Gallery, Pinecrest

All That Jazz, 2006, 36 x 36 inches, Acrylic, charcoal and ink on canvas.

Pop Music,  36 x 36 inches, Acrylic on canvas.
kMc Profiles

Describe your current project:
My current project is leading the charge with the new Terranova Arts Incubator program. I am the first Arts incubator artist and my work is currently being shown in the Suniland Plaza in Pinecrest. This project's aim is to bring art to the public and to showcase the amazing talent that is here in the Miami scene. Through showing work, education classes, and public access I am hoping to share my work and increase the profile of arts in the community.

Describe your artistry in 3 words or less:
Controlled crazy color

Top 3 influences on your style:
Pop Culture, cartoons, color theory

What's more important, aesthetics or message?
For me I would have to say aesthetic. I demand a certain aesthetic that most people would characterize as pretty, although it is much more than this. I work in an art style that should adhere to a strong design and visual impact. This attention to the overall image is the chief concern. A strong design has a much greater ability to hold a persons attention and as such a greater chance to spread a message to my audience.

How does your art influence culture? How does culture influence your art?
My work by definition is pop art. I am hugely influenced by popular culture and the machinations of society. Pop culture is a thread that binds so many people across the world. Through TV, the internet and print media we are all a witness to this shared tapestry of tastes, imagery, and current events. My work tries to bring aspects of this huge juggernaut of information and filter it down to one image or idea that can be grasped by a vast portion of the population just through the shared experience of pop culture.

What can we expect from you in 2011?
More paintings, more public opportunities to share my work, and more penguins!

Truer words were never spoken: 
 Love is all we need.

Kelliann McDonald is an author, a marketing and public relations strategist and a community advocate. A recognized #BrandMotivator™, McDonald works to generate results that attain and surpass brand and organizational objectives. For more from McDonald, Follow her on Twitter @KelliannMc, Like her on or Follow her on Instagram @kMcDiva for #CasualKel photos.
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