Joel Daniel Phillips is an American artist whose work focuses on the idea of portraiture as a radical act of empathetic connection. Inspired by the depth and breadth of human experience, he strives to explore the personal and societal histories etched in the world around him. Through the tip of a pencil and the bristles of a paintbrush, his portraits examine questions of truth, power, historical amnesia, and the veracity of the stories we tell ourselves about our collective pasts. Phillips’ practice is centered on the belief that portraiture can be a kind of magic: In the face of immense difficulty, it somehow holds the power to connect us, building emotional bridges between humans across chasms of time, distance and individual experience.


Phillips actively exhibits his work across the United States and abroad. His drawings and paintings have been shown at institutions including the National Portrait Gallery, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tacoma Art Museum, Art Museum of South Texas, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum, and Ackland Art Museum and many others. His work has been selected for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for the past three concurrent exhibitions (2016, 2019 and 2022), at which he received 3rd prize in 2016 and Honorable Mention in 2022. 


Phillips' works can be found in the public collections of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; Philbrook Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Ackland Art Museum, Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, West Collection, Gilcrease Museum, 21c Museum Hotels, Crocker Art Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum. He is currently a Fellow at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


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Art Fairs


12.11.18 / San Francisco Chronicle, “Potent drawings of atomic bomb test walk line between beauty and terror”

12.01.18 / Juxtapoz Magazine, “Joel Daniel Phillips Delves into the Aftermath of Nuclear Testing in His New Series “Hazards May Be Present””

11.29.18 / Fine Art Connoisseur, “Hazards May Be Present: The Ongoing Impact of One Event”

07.05.18 / Booooooom, ““It Felt Like The Future Was Now” by Artist Joel Daniel Phillips”



10.12.17 / Fine Art Connoisseur, “Welcome to the Orange West”

10.01.17 / Nashville Arts Magazine, “Joel Daniel Phillips: Welcome to the Orange West”



05.25.16 / Artsy, "Joel Daniel Phillips’ Disarming Portraits Look at the Frayed Edge of San Francisco’s Social Fabric"

05.05.16 / Hi-Fructose Magazine, "Joel Daniel Phillips Debuts New Life-size Portraits of Local Outsiders"

05.05.16 / Juxtapoz Magazine, "Joel Daniel Phillips "Belongings" @ Hashimoto Contemporary" 

03.21.16 / Smithsonian Magazine, “Every Three Years, Artists Compete to Be On View at the National Portrait Gallery. Here Are the Winners”

03.11.16 / Washington Post, “The National Portrait Gallery announces winners of the Outwin 2016 Competition”

03.05.16 / BBC News, “New faces in the US National Portrait Gallery”



08.01.15 / Drawing Magazine, Fall 2015, New and Notable: Joel Daniel Phillips

04.24.15 / Hi-Fructose Magazine, "Joel Daniel Phillips' Provoking Life-size Portraits"

04.22.15 / The Huffington Post, "Hyperrealistic Drawings Ask Viewers To Take A Closer Look At Homeless Communities"

04.20.15 / Juxtapoz Magazine, "Powerful Portraits: Joel Daniel Phillips"

03.01.15 / Fine Art Connoisseur, "Artists Making Their Mark: Three to Watch," March-April 2015



12.01.14 / New American Paintings, Pacifc Coast Issue #115

07.01.14 / Let Petit Voyeur, Issue 02

09.14.14 / SF Art Enthusiast, “Joel Daniel Phillips “I Am Another Yourself” at Hashimoto Contemporary”

09.11.14 / Fine Art Connoisseur

09.04.14 / The San Francisco Bay Guardian



11.05.13/ File Magazine

11.05.13/ iGNANT

09.26.13/ Supersonic Electronic

09.14.13/ Exhibition-ism



10.23.12/ Twofold Magazine

10.18.12/ Juxtapoz Magazine, “Joel Daniel Phillips ‘No Regrets in Life’“

09.21.12/ Empty Kingdom

05.22.12 / The Huffington Post, “No Regrets In Life’: Joel Daniel Phillips Exhibit Captures Mid-Market’s Homeless Residents”

05.11.12 / The Bold Italic

05.11.12 / The San Francisco Bay Guardian, “Sketching Sixth Street: Joel Daniel Phillips Renders the Unseen”