The artist, Richard Phillips, who also recently painted huge canvases of Lindsay Lohan.
The 8.5 feet x 14 feet Romney portrait is part of the Rauschenberg Foundation Project Space show, “We the People,” which opens tonight to coincide with the first presidential debate.
Phillips, who had to pay the Associated Press rights fees for the photograph the Romney painting is based on, said the physically imposing portrait is meant to show how politicians create an image of themselves during election season.
“The painting is scaled to amplify the constituent parts of political image craft and how it is designed to influence our opinions about attraction, competency, and trust during the campaign cycle,” he said.
Phillips added that he himself is somewhat partisan.
“I don’t paint Democrats,” he said. “I vote for them.”
Another quote from the artist, via Animal:
“One of the biggest issues is that he has a very prominent brow. The eyes are set back, and in this kind of political-moment image. The eyes can’t be locked on the horizon and they can’t be focused on a person. They’re very accurately painted, and they have a slightly unusual, out of focus thing that allows people’s minds to go anywhere with it.”