Richard Phillips exhibition, New York
Richard Phillips makes paintings - big, beguiling paintings, loaded with complex political and social discourse.
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Whilst, of course, the musings behind the meticulously applied layers of paint are integral to Phillips’s work, it is the imposing sense of these over-scale pictures that you ultimately remember.
The Gagosian in New York is no stranger to Phillips’s work; indeed, the cultural powerhouse has represented the painter for several years. The latest show of Phillips’s seminal New Museum series, taking place this month, offers admirers an exciting opportunity to experience his work first hand.
Appropriating images from popular culture, pornography, advertising and countless other resources, Phillips produces multifarious compositions of conflicting images - synthesising them all under one big glossy layer.
Der Bodensee, one of the vast pieces featured in the New Museum collection, combines a pastoral landscape with a cropped close-up from a pornographic image – a patent example of Phillips’s trademark visual boisterousness.
Ironic, critical and conflicting, Richard Phillips lulls us into a false sense of security, before pouncing with some rather challenging subjects. At times grotesque, Phillips offers us a version of reality, that, in a sense is no less maladjusted than our own.