Times reporter Bob Morris sums it up pretty well. "Surrounded by fast cars, guitars and celebrity: the portrait painter Richard Phillips has much to envy."
Richard was a pleasure to work with. I was struck by how composed and patient he was, whereas many subjects of stature seem to be either nervous or in a hurry. His paintings are typically exploding with flashy colors but when I entered his studio there were only patches of color amid large unfinished paintings of Lindsay Lohan, his most recent interest. There was also a large blue work-in-progress, a private commission, of a nude bombshell of a woman in the desert holding a Desert Eagle. He told me about his experience traveling to Utah to meet this subject and how they brought along a case filled with automatic weapons. Apparently the huge handgun was her favorite. As we decided on a couple of different spaces to photograph in his studio he regaled me with stories about his career- what a pleasure Lindsay is to work with, his meticulous painting process, how he has no clue how to use a camera yet recently had a multiple-page fashion spread in Elle. I felt at ease moving him around the room, trying different ideas and chatting like old pals. But not too at ease. This guy is a force to be reckoned with.