Vanity Fair spoke with Richard Philips & he explained how he came up with his portrait of Robert Pattinson for his "Most Wanted" series.
Richard Phillips’s style has always been pop, but his new show, “Most Wanted,” opening January 27 at White Cube in London, pushes this preoccupation further than ever before. Comprising ten large-scale oil paintings of current celebrities over conspicuously luxury-branded backdrops, “Most Wanted” stands as a visually arresting commentary not only on fame but on American culture itself. The Massachusetts-born, New York-based painter screen-printed photographs onto 8’ x 6.5’ canvases, then covered the faces with oil paint. Included in the series are Zac Efron, Chace Crawford, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, and the centerpiece, Robert Pattinson.
“I decided I would begin where Warhol and pop art left off,” Phillips told Vanity Fair.
“After holding a contest within my studio to find the best red carpet face from the constant river of images, a composite was made from the best of the best of Pattinson’s expressions. The colorful and detailed Louis Vuitton background was to suggest a fictitious brand endorsement context that was commensurate with his position as the most popular member of the group. The difficulty became not how to render his face so he could be seen, but how to paint his presence so he could be inescapably felt when standing in front of the painting. My painting of Robert Pattinson began to fulfill its intention of giving pause, to question our relationship to the constant appearance and simultaneous dismissal of our disembodied selves in relation to a system that generates a forced intimacy with commercially enforced exceptionalism.”
“Most Wanted” is on display in London until March 5.
Here are Kristen Stewart's & Dakota Fanning's portraits from the "Most Wanted" series.