Largely celebrated for his oil paintings of prominent personalities, Richard Phillips has also been known to combine his personal passion with his artistic endeavors. Whether the silhouette of a sports car or hidden details, automotive references are a component of the US American’s oeuvre. As a representation of hyperrealism, his works have graced the walls of venues such as the Gagosian Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. In 2019, Phillips designed a 911 RSR for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the art car took first place in the GTE Am class. And a Taycan that Phillips created for Porsche Switzerland was auctioned off for a good cause in 2021.
What is love?
Putting someone else first – to truly get to know them.
How are you?
After racing the air-cooled 911 Cup class in Watkins Glen last weekend, I’m enjoying painting again.
The Porsche 911 in three words?
Passion, art, technology.
Which simple things can make you happy?
Driving to the beach with my girlfriend Erin and our dog Tassy – in the 911 SC with a surfboard on the roof. Visiting museums and galleries and seeing new art.
What would you never do in a 911?
Confuse second gear with fourth when shifting down on the racecourse – hopefully!
What’s your favorite road?
The full length of FDR Drive in Manhattan at night.
What can distract you?
The sound of a boxer engine with a straight exhaust pipe.
Three things you would take to a desert island?
Swiss army knife, flint, a tarp.
Is there a historical figure you admire?
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
What on a 911 could you do without?
And what couldn’t you?
The 915 transmission, which was installed in the 911 between 1972 and 1986.
What music did you wake up to this morning?
Don’t Forget by Sky Ferreira.
Your favorite film?
Teorema by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Your favorite book?
Down There by Joris-Karl Huysmans.
Where do you long to be?
If I’m not painting, then navigating new roads and racecourses and surfing on new waves around the world.
Your most treasured possession?
My 911 SC.
That extraordinary paintings are the sum of all acceptable mistakes.
The 911 moment of your life?
When the 911 RSR art car that I designed took first place in Le Mans in the GTE Am class in 2019 – driven by my friend Jörg Bergmeister.
Your best advice?
Take advantage of an opportunity the moment it presents itself.
What would no one expect of you?
When it comes to new challenges, I go flat out.
Residence: New York City
Porsche: 911 SC, built in 1982
Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 404.
Photographer: Michael Avedon (The Licensing Project)
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