You may be familiar with the work of New York-based contemporary artist Richard Phillips, whose pieces served as props in the Van der Woodsen loft on Gossip Girl. But in his latest exhibit, familiarity is the focus: the artist has chosen some of the world's most recognizable faces, including Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more, for his new series of large-scale, traditional oil paintings. The exhibition, called "Most Wanted," opens this Friday at the White Cube gallery in Hoxton Square, London.
Phillips's lineup of superstars from television, movies, and music are depicted against backdrops featuring the logos of luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and more, mimicking the "step and repeat" backdrops at red carpet events like film premieres and award shows. A halo around each famous face is meant to emphasize "electric stardom of these secular deities while simultaneously flattening their image, melding them into the brands they represent, as if on a decal or trading card." It's also Phillips hope that mass audiences who are out of touch with the high art world will find an immediate connection with the paintings, making yet another statement about the power of celebrity branding.
To see more of the paintings, continue reading!
Are you intrigued? What are your thoughts on this series? Do you think it's gimmicky or do you think it makes a powerful? Any Londoners out there who plan to visit?