Richard Phillips, Sasha III, 2012, oil on canvas, 84 × 149 1/2 inches (213.4 × 379.7 cm) © Richard Phillips. Photo by Rob McKeever
In his paintings, Richard Phillips engages the complex web of human obsessions to do with sexuality, politics, power, death that are constantly exploited in mainstream media. Subjecting popular images to a range of classical painterly techniques, he estranges their familiarity and thus imbues them with new meaning. Photographic images of politicians are re-cast in neon, while supermodels are represented as academic paintings, as if to augment their status as pop icons. Over and over again throughout his work, the glossy idealism of advertising propaganda is subverted by his underlying resistance to its blatant seduction.
Richard Phillips was born in 1962 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He received his B.F.A. in 1984 from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and his M.F.A. in 1986 from Yale University of Art, Connecticut. Recent solo museum exhibitions include Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2000); Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2002); “Paintings and Drawings,” Le Consortium, Dijon (2004); “Lindsay Lohan,” Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); and “Negation of the Universe,” Dallas Contemporary, Texas (2014). Public collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Tate Modern, London; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
His films Lindsay Lohan and Sasha Grey premiered at the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011 and at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in 2012. First Point premiered at Art Unlimited at Art Basel, Switzerland in June 2012.
Phillips currently lives and works in New York City.