I’ve been meaning to show Richard Phillips’s work here for a while. There’s something about surface level sexiness in artwork juxtaposed with underlining meaning that is refreshing to me. We live in such a sexually charged society, and yet when we see something as straight forward as the first image, which is a painting called “Scout”, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. We’re OK with cliche sex, or images that we’ve gotten used to by now, which means that all other forms of sexuality have to be closeted. Phillips’s work addresses this issue. He tries to achieve a synthetic look, or plastic look in a lot of his work, as well as throwing sexually charged images right at the viewer. To me, he has achieved an open dialogue on our culture, our beauty standards, and of course human sexuality.
In his words, “My pictures involve a kind of wasted beauty- that’s always been a thread in my work.”
To hear more from the artist’s perspective, check out this interview he did with Interview Magazine here.