Critique by Art Critic Jonathon Goodman of Art in America
Phil Joanou is a Pasadena, California based artist. the product of extensive training, in institutions and with individual artists, Joanou possesses an M.F.A. from The New York Academy of Art.
His skill is underscored by the largeness of his themes. For him, art has a purpose beyond mere reporting or active negation of human values; he looks to read the human condition as both chastening and full of wonder.
Figurative art remains a powerful vehicle for an artist interested in social issues and the universality of experience. Joanou sees his art as being influenced by his experience with mass communications and psychology; the result of his experience in the advertising industry. His paintings are intuitive portraits of the complex psychological situations we so often find ourselves in. They read as essays in a style that incorporates elements both classical and contemporary, in a vocabulary that activated very old stories and makes them new again.
Gerrit Henry, contributing editor for Art News and The New York Times wrote, "Joanou is a social commentator of great depth, stalwart technique and unflinching prophecy."