Philip Guston was born on June 27, 1913 in Montreal, Canada. He moved to Los Angeles at a young age and ended up enrolling in the Los Angeles Manual Arts High School, alongside Jackson Pollock. The two quickly became friends and were expelled after co-authoring an article highly critical of the school. Guston then went on to study at the Otis Art Institute, but after a year, felt that the academic environment was oppressive and not conducive to his own education. He eventually found early success as a mural painter across the United States and Mexico throughout the thirties and forties. He also taught art at the University of Iowa and began to have his first gallery shows, to great acclaim.