Figurative painter Richard Phillips sheds light on some of America's most recognized faces in "Most Wanted", a piece commissioned exclusively by VMAN magazine.
['When tweens witness Zac Efron flip his hair in high-definition, they instantly lose their virginity just like that.']
Set against step-and-repeat backdrops (walls plastered with sponsor logos, which Phillips describes as "utterly worthless and completely harnessed to commerce"), photos of Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron, Chace Crawford, Justin Timberlake, and Leonardo DiCaprio are reinterpreted in pastel portraits, illustrating the temporal stages in the lives of these most-in-demand male celebrities.
['And on the seventh day, the Mattel factory burned to the ground and Chace Crawford rose from the ashes like the most perfect Ken doll gleaming in the sun.']
['Every time Justin Timberlake sings in falsetto, a puppy gets castrated. Bob Barker approves.']
['Do you think Leonardo DiCaprio is still mad at Kate Winslet for letting go?']
On a grander scale, Phillips begs the question: to what end does it behoove a young man to have that particular label behind him? "Pick me, LV, for your next campaign - don't we look gorgeous together?" And what happens to these pictures of icons leaning against icons? They disappear into pixel dust, shedding light on the collective, willful naivete of our culture that believes the distinctions between the two can be so easily parsed.
Artwork: Richard Phillips | Captions: Michael K | Article Text: Aimee Walleston | Contributing art editor: Dominic Sidhu