New York

Richard Phillips

Edward Thorp Gallery

In his recent series of confidently worked oil paintings, Richard Phillips enlarges images of women found in ’70s fashion glossies to enormous scale, some more than six feet tall. While Phillips occasionally flirts with the issues of the “male gaze” and the sexual hard sell with these giant headshots, his treatment of them is more haunted than voyeuristic. In fact, the fashion archetypes of twentysome years ago—the cropped-top ingenue who might or might not be Twiggy, the stringy-haired flower child, the Charlie’s Angels wannabe in aviator shades—become strangely creepy in Phillips’ paintings: one immediately senses a dark undercurrent beneath these brightly lit façades.

In Facial Mask Peel, 1996, an impassive model tears off the translucent skin of her facial treatment, staring to the right as if hypnotized. Phillips makes the act seem the gesture of an extraterrestrial invader pulling

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