Richard Phillips is an artist who reached renown via his famous subjects and is considered a staple of modern pop-art. The use of celebrity is merely the surface of his work. These large scale paintings infuse a number of traditional techniques with modern aesthetics which convey deeper social meaning. In a recent interview with Guest of a Guest, Richard Phillips discusses social media, modern consumption of art, and the artist’s own career.
Phillips jokes that he has not created anything new. His paintings begin life as advertisements, magazine photos, and stills from film, but the hyper-reality of his work offers something more substantial. It is an exploration of how we interact with media and the changing face of celebrity. A technique he enjoys is playing with flatness verses depth. He utilizes different materials and the size of the canvas to articulate his message to the viewer.
One question was on how Richard Phillips is able to meet and work with the celebrities who he paints. His answer is more humble than one might expect. He states simply that it is a matter of chance. For instance, Lindsay Lohan had liked his previous work and he was soon sought out. Phillips appreciates his celebrity clientele, but avoids reducing the conversation to gossip. He speaks frankly and it is clear that it is art that interests him first and foremost.
The interview turned to social media and how it has been affecting art. Phillips discusses the dichotomy of connectedness verses isolation and how this relates to public viewings of art. He states that much of his recent work has become famous before he officially shows it and that it is interesting new perspective to consider. Overall, he seems curious about how art and pop culture will work together in the coming years.
This interview offers further insight on Richard Phillips as both a consumer and creator of art in a modern age. Phillips also discusses current projects and offers advice to beginning artists.
Kenny Ackerman is an Art Dealer in New York, specializing in Fine Art Paintings from 19th-21st century Europe and America. To buy or sell original paintings by artists we represent, contact Ackerman’s Fine Art here.