“Never fear the odds,” says native Newport artist Philip Easton. He should know; he is in remission from cancer, feels great, and his art practice is thriving. Now more than ever, “never fear the odds,” has become his mantra.
You may be familiar with artist Philip Easton’s HOPE, a commissioned mural by the former owner of Fifth Elements and which is still there today (an earlier graffiti piece on a metal panel was stolen three years ago and has been anonymously returned to his home just recently.) But there is more to his story, and he is ever evolving.
Easton is a self-taught designer and visual artist. Born and raised into a family with strong roots in the northeast surf and skate movement, he grew up in the 90’s around local skate shop, Water Brothers. The graphic designs of t-shirts, skateboards, and magazines, as well as in the skateboarding/surfing videos that played nonstop at the shop, were early and significant influences on his artwork then and now. Further, Easton was introduced to street culture sharing a room with his older brother, who loved graffiti and hip-hop.
In 2010, after gathering inspiration from different cities while on skateboarding trips, Easton launched his own street wear brand, Legends Limited. Since then, his designs have been worn by professional athletes, elite artists, and featured on an episode of the hit morning show “The Breakfast Club,” where platinum recording artist and hip-hop legend N.O.R.E sported one of the brand’s sweatshirts.
Motivated and inspired by the momentum of the brand, Easton has continued to expand his sense of creative expression. He started exploring visual art in search of his own unique style and draws inspiration from artists like Chad Muska, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat to cultivate his own vision. Avoiding traditional methods and going for a mixed-media approach, he experiments with unorthodox techniques and mediums.
It Runs In The Family
Easton’s ten-year old son, Izaiah, has also started exhibiting with him. Izaiah worked under Easton’s desk as a toddler making art as he watched his dad, who is his mentor. They now work side-by-side. Izaiah even helped him with a mural at the The Wayfinder Hotel. Like Easton, Izaiah works in abstract and loves shapes and color. “He’s always surprising me,” says Easton. “He’s brilliant.”
Easton also has a thirteen year old, Kyleigh, and her artistic bent is in the performing arts. She inspires him with her ability to learn her lines and perform, while she in return is one of his biggest supporters.
Chief among his champions is his girlfriend, copywriter Kate Laviolette. “She is an angel,” says Easton. She has been there for him all through his cancer therapy and has pushed him to continue his artistic pursuits. They are now celebrating their one-year anniversary.
Now that he is in remission from cancer, he has just finished a collection of original paintings, which are for sale. To keep up-to-date with Easton’s artistic ventures, inquire about viewings and purchases, please follow him on Instagram and view his website.
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