Galerie Max Hetzler / Holzwarth Publications, Berlin 2006
With a text by Linda Yablonsky
The work of Richard Phillips reflects images that are being produced by mass media. So do the 29 exhibited drawings from the years 1993 and 1994 [exhibition: Early Works on Paper, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, 2006]: in these years in the American society a boom of confessing in public evolved, which brought to light reports on child abuse, domestic violence, incest, alcoholism and drug addiction in the talkshows and the tabloids, with at the same time the media propagating conservative family values, exposed wealth, celebrities and models in ‘heroin chic’.
At this time, Phillips discovered the work of Albert Oehlen, whom he describes as a catalyst concerning the making of the drawings. Phillips found his motives in lurid photos from newspapers and magazines, reporting of a homeless man being burned alive, showing rich people on their sailing yacht or a wholesome American family having breakfast. Phillips is adopting these images in an aggressive way – the immaculate rich men are pissing into the water, the breakfast of the perfect family is not consisting of the advertised cereals, but of Martini, cigarettes and drugs, and the child is carrying a gun to school. ‘I looked at each image as an incomplete sentence I had to finish in a malevolent way’.
Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London / Holzwarth Publications, Berlin 2006
Text: Linda Yablonsky
Dimensions: 27.5 x 22.5 x 1.5 cm
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Early Works on Paper
Zimmerstraße 90/91, Berlin-Mitte
Exhibition page on maxhetzler.com