Phillip Thomas was born in Kingston Jamaica on February 20, 1980. Upon graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston Jamaica, Phillip Thomas received a grant from the Cobb Family Foundation as well as a scholarship from the C.H.A.S.E Fund to study and complete a Master's degree in New York. He completed his studies at the New York Academy of Art, where he graduated at the top of his class and was awarded a fellowship from the Academy.
Artist statement: "Even my decision to study at the New York Academy of Art, a traditionalist 'French Academy' in the United States, is rooted in my interest in cross-cultural pollination. My work is concerned with specific Old World cultures that are relevant to the Caribbean, predominantly the English, the French and the Spanish. Each of these cultures is reflected in the body of works presented. 'Master Copies' of Turner, Ribera and sections of Velazquez' paintings are fused into the discourse of my paintings, not as mere hints of artistic influence but also as cultural relics."