With her serene expression, softly tumbling blonde hair, long lashes and perfectly even golden tan, Richard Phillips's iconic image 'Lindsay II' presents an impossible image of female beauty. This is not a figure of speech, 'Lindsay II' is indeed an impossible image: though it has been re-presented in several iterations (it is best known in the eponymous large-scale oil painting), the imagery was generated from an earlier film 'Lindsay Lohan' (2011). This particular image has always existed only as a digital composite, compiled from several different stills taken from the film. The film, shot at an infinity pool in Malibu, California, was considered a "motion portrait" of the actress that, the artist says, "at once reveals an emotional awareness of her recent past and, in the most positive terms, expressed the limitless creative potential of her art joined with her unparalleled beauty."
Richard Phillips' photo-realistic paintings of celebrities, particularly those of female icons such as Adriana Lima, Miley Cyrus, and, most famously, Lindsay Lohan, interrupt common associations of what the role of portraiture and of painting can be. Taken from found imagery, either film stills or publicity shots, they are portrayed in almost lurid colours and are executed with a highly refined painting style. Phillips is interested in the implications of the celebrity's rehearsed expression: "It was a face that each of these stars rehearsed and used to become a blank screen endorsement of product or event that they might appear at… In a way there’s that level of abstraction where it’s no longer attached to any type of accomplishment. It had more to do with providing a kind of blanket type of coverage for the endorsement moment. I very specifically chose that moment to use that selling phase, that winning expression they know. It’s that type of consciousness that I’m trying to portray."
Richard Phillips was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1962. He lives and works in New York.