Written by Michael D. McClellan
June 21, 2019, USA
Philippe Halaburda is a busy man. The French-born, New York-based abstract artist is a conduit of emotion, absorbing the environment around him and translating it, prolifically, into works that pull and tug on our subconscious. Abstract, geometric shapes burst from his imagination, his color choices not unlike the works of the late modern master Henri Matisse, who also got his start in the South of France. There is no off switch: Halaburda’s hyper-inquisitive DNA fuels the inspiration behind his work, brilliant pieces created on a variety of mediums including canvas, paper, plexiglass, cardboard, and wood. He relentlessly explores the world around him, his iPhone at the ready, his mind ablaze with possibility. Equal parts New Age artist and old-school cartographer, Halaburda often melds these two passions, creating imaginary topographies that move the needle on a deeply emotional level. It’s all part of what makes Philippe Halaburda deliciously unique.
“Art is my love,” Halaburda says, settling into the interview. “When I am creating art, it’s important for me to have my own style. I’m not interested in doing something that has already been done.”
Like genius abstract artist Mark Rothko, who moved through many artistic styles until reaching his signature 1950s motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color, Halaburda has also undergone his own transformation. Several of them, actually. The purity of his abstractions and methodical practice by which he arrives at them make his work instantly recognizable, and the radically simplified elements reflect what he sees as the spiritual order underlying the visible world, creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. While his art has been compared to the Suprematism movement of late Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich, there are also traces of the De Stijl movement championed by the Dutch master, Piet Mondrian. It’s as if both styles were fed through the blender of Halaburda’s mind until something entirely new poured out.
“For me, relationships are the foundation of everything I create. Whether I’m in the studio with brush and canvas, or I’m on the street with my iPhone, my art is connected in some way to the deep, emotional elements built into relationships – whether that is contradiction, or harmony, or something entirely different.”