Richard Phillips’s hyper-realistic oil paintings embody themes as broad as power, politics, celebrity, fashion, ideology, beauty, and sex, and pose questions about the status of painting today: Does the medium remain valid, or has it become a historical pastime? Pornography, propaganda, advertising, entertainment, fashion—Phillips incorporates material from a range of sources to confront what is at the core of contemporary image making, from the power of celebrity branding to complicity between viewer and viewed. The book’s exploitative design strategy celebrates the commercial and fashion alliances of the artist’s practice, while revealing the complex politics behind the imagery the artist chooses to paint. In his new book titled Negotiation of the Universe, the acclaimed Philips is celebrated with a tome honoring his unique perspective on both art and fashion. Here, we take a look inside.
© RICHARD PHILLIPS: Negation of the Universe by Richard Phillips, Marcus Steinweg, Beatrix Ruf, Rizzoli New York, 2014.