Peter Phillips was born in Birmingham and studied at Birmingham College of Art from 1955 - 1959 and at the Royal College of Art 1959 - 62. Whilst at school Phillips was taught painting and decorating, sign writing, graphic design and technical draughtsmanship. In 1964 he moved to New York and readily absorbed the trappings of youth culture - glamour, energy and sexuality. His paintings of the period had a machine feel with hard polished surfaces, achieved by use of an air brush, and images borrowed from the funfair, pin-ups and comic books. He achieved similar effects in the screenprint series PNEUmatics, which made full use of the skills he learnt at school and gave the prints an intentional machine-made look akin to commercial art production.