Richard Phillips, ‘California Forest Fire I’, 2015, Swiss Institute Benefit Auction 2015

Richard Phillips’ portraiture creates visual tension by combining traditional photorealistic oil painting with pop culture imagery. In California Forest Fire I, Phillips extends the juxtaposition by leveraging his refinement with the paintbrush to emulate the aesthetics of digital art. His academic skill becomes invisible, hidden by the illusion of a computer-rendered photomontage. Phillips is represented by Gagosian Gallery, and has exhibited his work extensively, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the Tate Modern, London. He is widely recognized outside the art world, largely thanks to collaborations with pop culture figures, including a video project with Lindsay Lohan.

Image rights: Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

About Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips' portraits combine lurid imagery with a refined, academic painting style. Valuing critique as an intrinsic part of composition as much as canvas and paint, Phillips takes material from sources like soft porn, advertising, fashion, celebrity culture, and Pop art, translating it into glossy, photorealist works with stylized, close-up figures rendered in heightened color or black and white. His provocative oil paintings—such as Frieze, 2009, a realistic representation of a woman on her back with and issue of the art magazine Frieze inserted into her vagina—reveal how images can be used to distort truth and wield power.

American, b. 1962, Marblehead, Massachusetts, based in New York, New York

Group Shows

San Francisco,
University of Tennessee School of Art, 
Limited Box Edition
New York,
Contemporary Magic
The FLAG Art Foundation, 
New York, USA,
Cynthia Daignault: There is Nothing I could Say That I Haven't Thought Before
View Artist's CV