Whistler and Hopper, Graffiti-Style

Kelly Towles and dogs

Artist Kelly Towles and his dogs in his studio. All photos courtesy The Phillips Collection

Last week, DC-based artist and long-time Phillips fan Kelly Towles brought some of the masterworks from Made in the USA into the 21st century—and gave them some attitude. Best known for his vibrant murals all around DC (think Toki Underground, DC Brau, U Street Music Hall) often featuring fantastical masked figures, Towles used spray paint and ink to add his signature street art style to reproductions of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Miss Lillian Woakes (between 1890 and 1891) and Edward Hopper’s Approaching a City (1946). A limited number of t-shirts and totes with these images will be available in the museum shop in the coming weeks—stay tuned for more information.

We visited Towles’s studio to catch the artist at work:



hopper_two side by side

Towles adding to Edward Hopper’s Approaching a City


whistler_three side by side

Towles working on Whistler’s Miss Lillian Woakes


The final product by Kelly Towles