Richard Phillips, American, 1962
Born: Marblehead, MA
Work Locations: New York, NY
United States
Oil paint on linen
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
Richard Phillips (American). Tongue. 1997. Oil paint on linen. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. 2001.816.
height: 84 in, 213.3600 cm; width: 78 in, 198.1200 cm
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

Richard Phillips is known for his strikingly distinctive paintings which take images from marketing and celebrity culture and enlarge them well beyond life size. “Tongue” is a larger than life painting of a woman’s face. Her blonde hair frames the painting as she looks down toward the viewer, making a suggestive gesture with her tongue. Phillips draws inspiration for his large-scale photo-realist paintings from photographs of celebrities, which he “humanizes” by recreating the glossy runway shots in paint on canvas, albeit in supersize images. Here, he chooses a lascivious gesture photographed from below the model’s face, to focus our attention on the difference a change of angle can make to an otherwise polished, glamorized face-shot.

Richard Phillips received his BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1984 and his MFA in painting from Yale University School of Art in 1986. He currently lives and works in New York.

© Richard Phillips

Known Provenance
Purchased 1997 by Vicki and Kent Logan from Shoshana Wayne Gallery, New York; gifted 2016 to the Denver Art Museum by Vicki and Kent Logan
Exhibition History
  • "Focus: The Figure"—Denver Art Museum, 08/09/2008 - 02/2011

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