Phil Joanou

Phil Joanou

As the long-standing chief of one of the oldest Los Angeles agencies, Dailey & Associates, Phil Joanou would be expected to retire to the lush golf greens of Palm Springs. But Joanou viewed that time of life as just the beginning. The 67-year-old has wanted to be a painter since he was a teenager. But family money problems while at the University of Arizona forced him to switch from the fine arts school into business. Even while running an agency, he never stopped drawing, painting, taking classes and studying with artists. When he left Dailey nearly six years ago, he moved to Manhattan and enrolled in the New York Academy of Art to get a masters degree in painting. Working every day in his TriBeCa studio, Joanou now turns out complex paintings in a style he describes as contemporary figurative expressionism. He’s had shows in New York, Texas, Washington and is preparing for one at the University of Indiana at Purdue. Old friends like IPG chief Phil Geier have attended openings and past colleagues like Pete Dailey have bought the former member of the Tuesday Team’s work. Trading the corner office for the solitude of oil paint and canvas can be lonely at times, Joanou admits. But, the founder of the Partnership for a Drug-free America encourages others to rediscover early interests. “You have to let go of a lot of things, but it’s always nice to think you can recreate yourself,” he says.MagnumMatrixMagnumMagnumMatrix