Phil Santos: LA Noir

Posted on

“…I had two grand inside my breast pocket that needed a home, and I knew just the place.” – Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s Farewell My Lovely<.

Rhode Island raised, LA based artist Phil Santos is a self-taught artist.

“I started to paint with acrylics in RI. The only art that sold were paintings of downtown Providence. I painted and sold a few then moved out west. I took some classes in oils and took in lots of art shows, met some people, read some books, and worked. For a while I made lots of bad art and spread myself thinly, just learning oils, I experimented with lots of still lifes and concept art. Then I returned to my roots.

Now my work revolves around daily life, landmarks, and Los Angeles. ¬†Most of the bar signs I have painted are in some way significant to me. Either I have spent some time there or they are locally famous. I do try to choose signs that are visually appealing, i.e., have nice colors, many colors, old styles, and interesting shapes. The trucks that I paint are such a part of city life that they are art pieces in themselves and often go unnoticed. I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen a lot of other painters painting them. These mobile billboards are usually found throughout downtown LA and are a subliminal reminder that you’re there.” – Phil Santos