Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Richard Phillips' Business Art

MAC's Fall campaign is part genius, part slick business. In case you don't already know, what the cosmetics giant did was ask New York based artists, Marilyn Minter, Maira Kalman and Richard Phillips, to interpret their Fall 2009 palette into art. Now, I guess this really isn't too different from Vuitton's collab with Murakami or any of the other frequent art-commerce combos that have hatched in the last few years, but what I thought was particularly interesting about this one was that rather than creating a new work, Richard Phillips simply airbrushed an old one with eye shadow and lipstick.

Most people strolling in the mall won’t recognize his earlier work, Der Bodnesee, but is that what he meant by it? Was this like not having enough time to hand in an assignment, so you rework an old one? Whether the intention was devious or not, the result is completely transfixing (a big word for a makeup campaign). All I keep thinking of is Warhol’s famous words, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art”.


  1. i've been following this campaign pretty closely (huge fan of marilyn minter here) and had no idea he did that. everyone is a sucker! but good for mr. phillips.

  2. i still can't decide if he was just lazy or was making a 'statement'