Philip Trusttum: Cultural Icon
“I’ve got banks of paintings and James (Wallace) has banks of money, they balance each other out. He’s generous with his money, I’m generous with my paintings”
Philip Trusttum is one of New Zealand’s most recognised contemporary painters of major works. Here he talks with Rodney Wilson for the Cultural Icons project, on the eve of the first complete survey of his oeuvre and book launch at The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, on until 29 January 2012. www.tsbbankwallaceartscentre.org.nz
Rich with reminiscences from these two ex-Christchurch University students (Philip and Rodney studied art together in the 60’s), the conversation also covers Philip’s early influences and experiences at art school where he was taught and mentored by Rudi Gopas; the ‘mood of music’ in his work; his ties to Christchurch; the effects the earthquake has had on him; and the long-time collector/artist relationship between Philip and Sir James Wallace (who is the most significant collector of Philip’s work, acquiring over 200 pieces over the last 40 years).
Philip Trusttum graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury School of Art in 1964. In 1967 he travelled on a Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council scholarship and since then has travelled and worked in Europe and North America. He was part of ANZART at the Edinburgh Arts Festival, 1984 – the same year he exhibited on New York’s 57th Street at the Jill Kornblee Gallery. He has shown in Sydney, New York, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch since then. In 1998 he was the only New Zealand artist reviewed in the New York Times. Philip Trusttum is represented in all major public and private collections within New Zealand.