Philip Crawford

b 1988 USA. Lives and works in Berlin.


One of the organizing elements of my artistic practice is the concept of heroism. The hero serves as a narrative embodiment for an individual or community; it is both an iconic reflection of closely-held values and a representation of history and self-defined purpose. The heroic provides a unique way to access processes of myth-making and identity formation. Through my practice, I explore socio-historical conceptions of the heroic and its capacity to foment rhetorics of difference under divisive fictions and mask technologies of power behind myth.

 Superheroic tales–stories of exceptional humanity, morality, and ability–like those found in comic books and memoirs (also movies, video games and self-help books) hold particular interest. While the images and stories themselves are important resources, so are the histories of the creators, media companies and audiences that produced them. Narratives constructed in these stories often have identifiable similarities with the communities that created them. 

Throughout my work there is an attempt at what historian Saidiya Hartman calls critical fabulation. Heroic surrogacy and fantasy embodiment become key frameworks in this effort. By including visualizations of heroic and superheroic narratives from popular media alongside references to the pleasures and pains of everyday life, I attempt to combine fictions, critically binding the personal, institutional, historical and popular fabulations that instruct the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.



  • M.A. North American History and Culture, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Germany (current)
  • B.A. History, Stanford University, Stanford CA USA
  • History of Art, Oxford University, Oxford UK (tutorial: the political influence of artistic movements)
  • Solo Exhibitions
  • 2018 My Noose Around That Pretty’s Neck, University of Cologne, Cologne Germany
  • Stop!Cop!,  Retramp Gallery, Berlin Germany
  • Heroism and the Heroic in American History, Akademie Für Politische Bildung, Tutzing Germany
  • 2016  To Die In Your Arms, Brix, Prague Czech Republic
  • No Heroism In Love, Zizkovsiska Gallery, Prague Czech Republic
  • Group Exhibitions (selected)  
  • 2018 Advent Special, Fine Art Berlin, Berlin Germany
  • 2018 Textualised, Berlin Blue Art Gallery, Berlin Germany
  • 2018 The New South III, Kai Lin Gallery, Atlanta USA
  • 2018 Pleasure and Pain, Schau Fenster, Berlin Germany
  • 2017 vom Speck weg, Galerie Isabelle Gabrijel, Berlin Germany
  • 2017 49 Contemporary Artists, Enter Art Foundation, Berlin Germany
  • 2017 Visual Science of Art Conference, ACUD Gallery, Berlin Germany
Residencies and Honors
  • 2018 Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) Residency Program, Truth and Reconciliation
  • 2018 1st Place Award, The New South III, Kai Lin Gallery

  • Enter Art Collection, Berlin Germany
  • Private Collection, San Francisco CA USA
  • Private Collection, Atlanta GA USA

To: Philip Crawford

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Works by Philip Crawford