Coles Phillips

Published January 28, 2010 by Graham


Do yourself a favor and peruse the playful paintings of Coles Phillips. Surging to prominence after World War I and riding the wave of the roaring 20’s, Phillips was a young genius of editorial art whose work conquered the newsstands on the covers of periodicals like Life and Good Housekeeping. Deceptively straightforward, Phillips’ style isn’t far off from the eye-popping photorealism that Norman Rockwell would later hone into an art– yet each piece seems to be hinting at something beneath the surface. Establishing a distinct voice in the early days of visual mass media couldn’t have been easy, but Phillips’ work manages to tell you who he is even as it sells you cars, silverware, and the American dream.

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