Philip Steele (1996) was born in Zagreb, Croatia of an Irish father and a Croatian mother. He has been a permanent resident of South Africa for most of his life. He was raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Steele’s work is in public and private collections globally. He has developed a recognisable style in a very short period, and exhibited in numerous venues such as: KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa; Lagos Photo 20, Nigeria; Panal 361 Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa. As well as Apartment;Association for Visual Arts Gallery; Cape Town Art Fair; Michaelis Gallery, University of Cape Town; Nel Gallery; and Smith Gallery (all Cape Town, South Africa). Four monograph books have been dedicated to his work.
Steele produces paintings, videos, and performances, that explore the formation of gay identity and the modes through which it is presented, viewed and owned. In his work, he explores the queer body and the visceral manifestations of gay love, intimacy, sexuality,and ecstasy. The images he produces, incorporate representations of pain and pleasure.
These images function as transcendental experiences, or performative transformations, both for himself and the viewer, resulting in the “ecstasy of knowing”. A kind of liberation through experienced knowledge, the rejection of imposed morals, and the challenging of the restrictions of taboos.
You can follow Steele on social media on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @philipsteeleart