Philip Wittmann’s work is based on signs. Signs for him are an intermediary between abstraction and writing. He started painting 32 years ago, at the age of 26, as an amateur painter with ‘pure’ abstraction. Studying calligraphy, he realized when looking at the origin of alphabets, all alphabets actually, that graphical representation is more present as there is often a resemblance between the sign - its actual meaning- and what it is supposed to represent.
Wittmann loves signs as they leave room for interpretation. For instance, if one writes “the sky is blue”, one will make for oneself a mental representation of a blue sky, even if each one of us will probably have some nuance in our own mental representation of that blue sky. On the other hand, a sign can be interpreted by the viewer in any way you want. There is no clear meaning attached to it.
The combination of signs and calligraphy forms the basis of his style. Phillip then built his own dictionary of signs which he carefully uses and organizes on the paper using Inks and oils.