Philip Koch with his painting Uncharted II at the Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY. The Museum paired Koch's oil with its Willard Metcalf painting at the left, The Hills in February, for their 2017 exhibition 23 Pairs.
Philip Koch (pronounced like "watch") never intended to become an artist, yet a required art history class in his first semester at Oberlin College so intrigued him that he swithced his intended major from sociology to studio art. And he never looked back.
A fomer abstract artist, Koch was inspired while still a young artist by the work of the American realist Edward Hopper to change to working in a realist direction. Since 1983 he has been granted 15 residencies to stay and work in the former studio Hopper used for 30 years on Cape Cod, MA.
Koch is the great grandson of John Wallace, a Scottish landscape painter, and the grandson of John Capstaff, the inventor of the first commercially available color film, Kodachrome. Ironically Koch completely avoids using photography as a source for his paintings, relying entirely on direct observation outdoors and on memory and invention in creating his art.
Of his art he has written " I came to the conclusion art for me had to be about something that was more than clever or trendy. I want to talk about finding our place, sandwiched as we are between the expanses of earth and sky. Landscape painting can be the perfect canvas to celebrate the richness and the poignance of living out our lives on this planet."
Fifteen American art museum hold Koch's paintings in their Permanent Collections.
Philip Koch's CV