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Art Buff: Phil Durgan

Where are you from originally?

San Diego

What’s your medium?



How has Buffalo influenced your work? 

She’s an aging pin-up who breathes nostalgia and reinvention. I love her.  She’s sexy.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Boarded up houses with pretty paint jobs.


Name an artist (or more) that most inspires you?

Jean Dubuffet
Cy Twombly
Joseph Bueys

What is your preferred subject matter? 

Women. Cigarette smoke. Jazz musicians.


How do you feel you can best advance to the next level, or are you most happy where you are now?

Keep your buyers guessing and your peers hating…. you’ll get to the next level.  Oh… and ya gotta dress yourself like a drunk blind man. Always.

What is another medium that you would like to learn? Or that you have already learned?



Is there a purpose to your artwork?

The purpose to my work….tell them stories cryptically.

How often do you work on your art?


What or who first prompted you to venture into the art world?

My divorce prompted me to creatively sink or swim… or live miserably.


Have you been schooled in art?

Self taught.

Where is your favorite venue in Buffalo to exhibit?

The former SP@CE 224 on Allen (RIP)

Nina Freudenheim’s place or John Fatta’s new gallery on Main St, which reminds me a lot of the Gagosian in NYC.


Where did you learn your craft? 

Learned it in Buffalo. Lived it in Buffalo.

What are your strengths?

My strengths… using garish pastels and uneven lines to depict sad little homilies.

What are your weaknesses?

My weakness… drawing.

Name one person that you would like to sell a work of art to? 

Nina Freudenheim or John Massier


What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Best thing: YOU make the rules and forgivingly get to break them.

What’s the worst thing about being an artist?

Worst thing: self defeat when you might really be on the right track.

Do you have a show up currently?

My last show HISTRIONIC AND PORTABLE closed a month ago at the Galeria Del Putomadre on Rhode Island St. It was a series of paintings that examined my mental state as a sinner, saint, jazz musician, ballerina, broken hero, dreamer and idealist.


See more Art Buffs…

angela wisniewskichris galleycandace keegantom webbnicole johnsontara sasiadekveronica krugerlarry allendana saylorsean maddenpaul rybarczykbeth pedersonrobert schulmanpaul klonowskibetty j. pitts-fostercarol case siracusealejandro gutierrezpaul alicojohn sargentdeborah stewartpat pendletonkristin damstetteralana adetola fajemisinsarah and john cozzemerarob hopkinsjennifer seth-ciminielisabeth strongmichael mulleypatricia schwimmermikel doktorjerome greenbergelizabeth leaderjacqueline welchdoreen debothjoe casciocandace mastersiris kirkwoodlukia costellomichael morgulisjulie leatherbarrowchris libertimichael marariandaniel rodgersbruce adamsken paynechristina cookeelise anne brooksfrank cravottajackie albarellagary meliusmelissa campbelljeff quigleynancy moranvincent alejandropatti harriseileen graetzrita argen auerbachdianne bakernorine spurlingmargaret raabingrid luongojoseph stanekcandice morrisbill battaglia,melissa linton
If you are a local artist that has a current or upcoming show in the city, and are interested in being featured on Art Buff, please feel free to send an email request here. If you are the curator of an urban gallery or art studio that has an upcoming opening and would like to have an artist featured, please contact us prior to the event so that we can email questions in time for the show.


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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