Racing With Richard Phillips

A toast to the turbocharged artist


Joe Mimran and Richard Phillips   
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Fast cars and pretty girls: Isn't that the gentleman's dream? Yes or no, Richard Phillips is living it. Last night during a cocktail party and dinner at the New Museum, Phillips, who's known for his hyper-real paintings of celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Swift, revealed that he's not only a superstar artist but a race-car driver, too. The event, which was hosted by Joe Mimran of clothing line Joe Fresh, served to celebrate a new film in which Phillips is the star. Debuting on The Aesthete today (the cultural magazine cohosted the event), the Baldomero Fernandez-directed short shows Phillips speeding around a snowy racetrack in his souped-up Porsche Turbo. "With art, you try at all times to push the limits of what's possible," said Phillips. "But what these race-car drivers do at high speeds is miraculous. Their art is to live on the ragged edge. With painting, it's not that dramatic, but hopefully the results are as dynamic."

Phillips sees himself as a "beginner" driver, but his close pal Cynthia Rowley, who made the surf suits Lohan wore in Phillips' paintings, disagrees. Apparently, Phillips introduced the designer to go-kart racing a few years ago, and when she held her holiday office party at a racetrack in Jersey City, she asked him to come along. "Little did I know he would show up with his own shoes and helmet and just completely dust everyone on my staff."

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