Richard Phillips' Point of Purchase
An exhibition of triteness, tits and Taylor Momsen.
Richard Phillips' hyperrealist portraits are as much an exercise in artistic modesty as they are an homage to the banal imagery of gossip magazines. By "modesty" I mean a lack of any artsy snobbery rather than a lack of skin. Of the latter, his portraits have plenty - the glossy lips of nameless 16-year-old models pout at the viewer with heavy-lidded eyes, captivating yet devoid of any emotion. He paints gargantuan nipples in as much magnified detail as he does every individual eyelash, and when his subjects aren't lacking repute they're defined by it. Robert Pattinson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Miley Cyrus have all been transformed into artworks, alongside Lindsay Lohan who was the focus of his first short film.
The mixture of commercialism and cultural commentary evident in Phillips' work has made him hot property in the world of fashion. He's collaborated with Jimmy Choo to create a range of handbags featuring high-cheekboned faces and deadpan eyes, coloured his Der Bodensee beauty with lilac eyeshadow and sticky plum-red lips for MAC cosmetics, and painted his bare chested and severely suntanned Scout as a prop painting for a backdrop on Gossip Girl. He's even joined forces with one of the world's oldest crocodiles, creating an eye-catching line of polo shirts for Lacoste.
Richard Phillips' aptly named 'Point of Purchase' exhibit opened on the weekend at East Hampton's Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, and runs until August 8, 2011. Though, if you can't make it to New York before that date and still want to see exclusive images of nameless models and infamous celebrities pouting and exposing their nipples, there's always the recently-launched iPlayboy.com.
Words: Hannah Ongley