Still from Richard Philips’ “Lindsay Lohan” (2011) (image via

Richard Philips might be better known in the art world as a photorealist painter, but the painter just turned videographer with an art project-cum-advertisement for celebrity and tabloid icon Lindsay Lohan. The work is “a 90-second ad for her more sober self,” according to Linda Yablonsky at T Magazine.

Set to a fuzzed-out shoegaze background, the video shows Lohan emerging from a pool of water set against an expanse of ocean. She stares into the camera, the apparent symbolism emphasizing her rebirth and victory over those nasty drug and theft problems. Crashing waves and a fade out of Lohan’s face bring it all home. Check it out in full below.

Philips’ work has often focused on celebrity and popular ideas of beauty (and sex), so the subject matter seems apropos. The artist has also said that his paintings “involve a kind of wasted beauty,” an aspect that makes for a more poignant reading of the video, particularly the point at which Lohan touches a projected image of herself.

Lady Gaga has Terence Koh and Katy Perry has Will Cotton, so it only makes sense that more celebrities should jump on the artist bandwagon. How long before Britney Spears picks someone up?

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...