“I don’t paint Democrats,” says Richard Phillips. “I vote for them.” Just in time for tonight’s presidential debates, the artist installed this monster of a Vote Romney painting at the Rauschenberg Foundation group show, blocks away from the Gagosian and his heaving, immaculately photorealistic Lindsay Lohans and Sasha Greys.
One of the biggest issues is that he has a very prominent brow. The eyes are set back, and in this kind of political-moment image. The eyes can’t be locked on the horizon and they can’t be focused on a person. They’re very accurately painted, and they have a slightly unusual, out of focus thing that allows people’s minds to go anywhere with it.
The painting is scaled to amplify the constituent parts of political image craft and how it is designed to influence our opinions about attraction, competency, and trust during the campaign cycle.
So get close. Get to know the GOP cover boy, look him in the eyes… Oh wait.
(Photo: Gallerist NY)