Neil Enggist was born September 21, 1982, in Princeton, New Jersey. His Mother emigrated from Taiwan and his father from Switzerland, both arriving in 1969. An avid drawer from before he could remember, Enggist’s early picture making was encouraged by his father, Robert, a glass artist and his mother, who works for the state of NJ. He supplemented his public schooling with art programs in Central Jersey and Philadelphia. In the fall of 2000, Enggist attended art school at Washington University in St. Louis. He studied drawing under John Sabraw, a hyperrealist draftsman and painter with a history of making proud students weep. In 2002, Enggist studied oil painting, illustration, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and Renaissance art in Florence, where he produced his first body of small land and cityscapes. His final piece was a large canvas based on Michelangelo’s Last Judgment and a burgeoning interest in Kandinsky’s mid career work. That summer, he traveled through China where he was immersed in the quietude of multifold carved Buddhas in the caves of Datong. He graduated with a painting major in 2004 with a body of work embodying the his collision of interests—the Himalayan Mandala, the palette of nature, Mystical poetry, Nietzsche, Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art, Dylan, and his own poetic efforts.
After graduating in 2004, Enggist spent the summer painting storms in New Mexico and showing around NYC. In 2005, Enggist spent six months traveling through Europe with a makeshift stretcher, a guitar, an easel, and Kerouac's Desolation Angels. He painted onsite at La Ahlambra, Chartes, Sacre Cour, the Rodin Gardens, and Parc Guell, and studied his beloved modern masters. He developed a body of drawings, which he used on occasion as rent. In 2006 Enggist exhibited four times in Washington DC, New York and Paris. In 2007, he was on the road in California, New Mexico and the Midwest, painting, writing and singing songs of the trail. In 2008 Enggist made 7 paintings in a summer’s week in Camogli, Italy, which he showed in Monza, north of Milan. December 08 to spring 09, Enggist crisscrossed through India producing drawings and scattered writings for 3 book projects. He made 17 pieces one manic day in Delhi to show the next night in Hauz Kaz Village, and later painted and showed in Bhandra, Mumbai. In the summer and fall of 09, Enggist had a studio residency in Brooklyn Heights with Boffo, taking part in their massive Obejective Affection exhibition in a 30,000+ square foot space on the East River.
After showing at Galapagos in Brooklyn, 25CPW and Collective Hardware in Manhattan early 2010, Enggist took a slow cross country journey with folksinger Gann Brewer, drawing and painting onsite, photographing, writing, and playing music through 25 states landing in San Francisco. After ‘The Low Road’ show in downtown Manhattan which displayed the various projects from the America trip, Enggist went to Spain, Switzerland, Romania, Hungary and France, where he worked for Swiss master gardener, Andre Amman. Upon his return to NYC, he self-published three books of poetry, 21 to Midnight, Destiny Playing, and Blindness Memory & Empty Trains. Throughout 2011, he continued to paint in his outdoor studio in NJ, Kenai peninsula, Alaska, and in San Francisco. 2012 found him in Europe again for 6 months, showing in Luzern at the Kunstraum Vitrine. In 2013, Enggist painted sunrises on silk while traveling through Kerala to the southmost end of India, and helped realize garden design ventures once more in Luzern.