Philip Guston’s parents were of a Ukrainian origin.
Philip Guston, born Phillip Goldstein, came to the world on June 27, 1913, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was the youngest of seven children in a family of Louis Goldstein, a saloon keeper, and Rachel Ehrenlieb Goldstein.
When Philip was a three-year-old child, the family relocated to the United States. In 1919, the Goldsteins settled down in Los Angeles. While in the city, the family faced financial and social difficulties related to the rising of the Ku Klux Klan this time.
In 1923, perhaps suppressed by the concerns, Guston’s father committed suicide by hanging. It was a psychological trauma for Philip who found the body. The fantastical world of comics became his shelter, and soon he revealed his interest in drawing. Guston was encouraged in the passion by his mother.