Phil Hale Is Running A Kickstarter To Fund A New Art Book

Phil Hale Is Running A Kickstarter To Fund A New Art Book

Celebrating His Art

Tripwire has always been keen to support comics, art and illustration projects on crowdfunding platforms and our of our favourite illustrators, Phil Hale, is funding for a new art book. Here’s some details…


A unique early opportunity to purchase USE MUSIC TO KILL showcasing the last fifteen years of Phil Hale’s art.

 USE MUSIC TO KILL is a collection of over two hundred paintings, photographs, drawings and collages in Phil’s distinctive style, from a career that has spanned fine art, portraiture, illustration, fashion photography, film and music.

“This book has been a very long time coming, pushing its way through, among other things, five months of Covid-19 and the Chinese State Censors. But I am so happy with it. Grant gave me enormous leeway regarding content, format and design, and one of the benefits is that this is a fantastically dense, layered, comprehensive package. I hope that it not only pleases but also surprises.  Phil Hale, September 2020

Due to Covid travel restrictions all books shipped to supporters in the USA will have a tipped in signed plate and books shipped from the UK to elsewhere in the world will be signed inside the book by Phil.


  •  PAINTINGS – from Phil’s solo shows in London, Tokyo and New York 
  •  DRAWINGS – including new robot designs for Johnny Badhair gaming project 
  •  PHOTOGRAPHY – Phil’s distinctive black and white cut-ups commissioned for fashion shoots featuring Lily Cole and Magnus Carlsen for a G-Star global campaign, Peaky Blinders star Paul Anderson and other projects including work for Dazed & Confused, and Another Man Magazine.
  •  FILM – behind the scenes creature design shots for Phil’s short film project Ziggurat 
  •  TEXT – foreword by science fiction writer Michael Moorcock, conversations with the artist and award winning short story writer Adam Marek and artist & illustrator Ashley Wood. Essay on the nature of violence in art by Dr Michiko Oki  and commentary by Texas–based musician Bob Schneider.

  •  Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, sewn pages and square spine
  •  Volume: 272 pages
  •  Size: 11 × 11 inches
  •  Language: English
  •  Color: Full color



The Collector’s Deluxe Edition of USE MUSIC TO KILL is an elegant 11″ x 11″ hardback book which is being handbound for us by Blackfox Bindery in London, UK. 

The book is quarter bound in black leather and black cloth with a red leather line inset and red end bands. It has the gold stamped title on the front & the spine. Inside the book the pages are hand stitched with red thread and the endpapers at front and back are unique handmade cyanotypes on watercolour paper.

Each edition will have an original Phil Hale photo collage tipped into the front cover.

Only 10 copies of the Deluxe Collector’s Edition are being made for this Kickstarter – each of which will be signed with a personalised dedication to you from Phil.

The Deluxe Collector’s Edition also includes an original drawing which is bound into the book. Some of the drawings have a collaged element. 

Please note these are unique to each book and are not selectable.



  • USE MUSIC TO KILL   Standard Trade Edition with tipped in plate signed by Phil. 
  • LIFE WANTS TO LIVE   A signed 8″ x 8″ 96 page hardcover book published in 2015 as an edition of 1,000 copies to accompany Phil’s show at The Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York. Contains 15 paintings as well as pencil drawings, an introduction by Michiko Oki and a conversation with Justin Mortimer. 
  •  URGE OURSELVES UNDER  A signed 12″ x 12″ 64 page book of wash head paintings published 2010 by ThreeA Trading Company Limited as an edition of 1,000 copies and was primarily sold at Gathering gaming convention in Beijing, China, where Phil Hale was a Guest of Honor and exhibited a collection of his paintings. These copies have an original sketch of a skull by Phil.
  • MOCKINGBIRDS/RELAXEDER   A two book set approx 9″ x 7″ published 2005 in an edition of 1,900 copies to accompany Phil’s shows at The Jerwood Space Gallery in London. These books consolidate Phil’s move in the direction of the fine arts. MOCKINGBIRDS is a tightly focused series of figurative oil paintings, while RELAXEDER  is a looser play of drawings and photographs.


  • Quarter bound in black calfskin leather 
  • Stamped titles with gold lettering on the front and spine 
  • Elegant red headbands and unique handmade cyanotype endpapers on watercolour paper
  • Signed with a personalised dedication to you from Phil
  • An original signed drawing is bound inside the book
  • Includes an original photographic collage featured in the book which is tipped into the front cover
Study for LIFE WANTS TO LIVE, 2015 oil on stretched linen, approx 31″ x 46″


Phil Hale is a London based figurative painter best known for his characteristically intense paintings and portraits. His work combines dynamic, abstracted human forms engaged in ambiguous actions which often appear to take place in dystopian, Ballardian settings. The paintings are shot through with an unsettling hyper energy and show a rare talent for contemporary oil painting and figuration.  Phil’s unpredictable independent spirit as an artist, his choice of subject matter and his use of painting as a medium reflect a deeply felt human sensibility that is particularly poignant in an increasingly non tactile age. His work considers human struggle with all its associated anxiety, complexity and absurdity. 

Phil began his career age 17 working for book and magazine publishers, notably Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc., illustrating Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER II: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE), and producing work for Warner Brothers, Sony, Playboy, DC, Penguin and more.  His illustrations won several gold awards from the American Society of Illustrators. In the 90s Phil began developing a career in portraiture, twice winning prizes at the prestigious NPG Portrait Awards and leading to the commissioned portrait of the modern composer Thomas Ades which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery London. 

In 2008 he was commissioned to paint the official portrait of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. His portrait paintings are on public display at The National Portrait Gallery London,  Lords Cricket Grounds, and in The Houses of Parliament. For the last decade Phil’s focus has turned more towards fine art with international group painting shows in USA, Japan and Europe and solo shows at Jonathan LeVine in New York and the Jerwood Space London.

Risks and challenges

While this is my first Kickstarter endeavor, I have been publishing books for almost 50 years and have been with Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. since 1981. I am well aware of many of the unexpected delays which can come up when publishing a book and have tried to anticipate as many as possible. I have delayed releasing this Kickstarter until Phil Hale finished the complete design of USE MUSIC TO KILL, and pages were printed, which required many, many revisions and proofing over the past year before Phil was completely happy with the book. As Phil is in London and the books would be printed overseas we will have some books shipped directly from England as shipping to countries other than the United States from the UK is less than half of what it would be to ship from the United States. I will keep you informed with updates. Thank you for your support. Robert K. Wiener

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: