philip monaghan studio
documenting the work of philip monaghan
A painter noted for his visual collaborations with poets, Philip Monaghan was born in Rockville Center, New York and raised in the suburbs of New York City and Houston, Texas. He attended Memorial High School in Houston and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, receiving a BFA in Studio Art in 1976. In 1977, he moved to New York City to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where he received an MFA in Studio Art in 1979.
Part of the 1980s East Village fashion and art scene, Monaghan was friendly with artists including Andy Warhol. Concurrently, Monaghan worked as an art director and branding expert for various retail companies in New York and Milan. In 1981, he was appointed Art Director for Fiorucci New York where he collaborated with Antonio Lopez, Francesco Scavullo and Warhol on live windows and events in-store. During this time, he was in a relationship and later a friendship with poet Tim Dlugos. It was also during this time that he performed at various venues with artists Joey Arias and Ann Magnuson. From 1986, Monaghan held a variety of posts at Limited Brands, involved in brand positioning and creative direction. To develop imagery for these brands, he retained top talent such as Patrick Demarchelier, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. He retired in 2001 and dedicated himself to a fine arts practice.
In 2011, Fales Library at New York University mounted an exhibition of Monaghan's paintings titled "At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away," a visual response to Tim Dlugos's poem "Gilligan's Island." The exhibition was reviewed by Holland Cotter of The New York Times.
Of Philip Monaghan’s work, Max Berliner of Out Magazine wrote, “...a moment of pop culture nirvana rendered with cloudy, dream-like abandon - a chillingly apt look in the rearview mirror of entertainment history.”
Of Monaghan’s 2011 show, Holland Cotter of the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Monaghan is admirably faithful to the poem’s text. His layering of painted and printed images reflects its fractured structure. His light-touch, straight-faced brushwork is perfectly suited to its plain-style language and affectless, though dimly forbidding tone.”
Rozalia Jovanovic of Flavorwire described Monaghan’s response to “Gilligan’s Island” by Tim Dlugos by writing, “In addition to being stylistically captivating, the works are compelling for their exploration of the subliminal communications embodied in this seminal ’70s (sic) television show.” Marvin Taylor, curator of Fale’s Library at NYU said, “Philip’s illuminating paintings open up the psychosexual world Dlugos — and a whole generation of gay men — envisioned in Gilligan’s world.” Ruth La Ferla of the New York Times wrote, “A similar dread has colored many of the paintings…some are openly horrific. But that pervading creepiness is belied by Mr. Monaghan’s exuberant brush strokes, alluring pastels and illustrative imagery, which would seem more appropriate to a lighthearted commentary on love, lust and human vanity.”
Philip Monaghan lives in New York City.