Lolita- signed limited edition digital print with silkscreen glazes by British contemporary artist Tom Phillips.
Phillips combines two of his interests: postcards and literature in Lolita. The image he uses is taken from a postcard; Phillips has used postcards as a source material since the late 1960s, for several years they became the equivalent visual source to Mallock’s A Human Document as a textual source. Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita was published in 1955. The novel was controversial as it deals with the sexual obsession of an older man for a teenage girl (a theme we can see hinted at in Phillips’ postcard imagery), it is also one of the most important and beautiful works of literature of the last century. Phillips borders the postcard with a hand-designed frame which includes the title and author of the book in hand-drawn text. This hand-painted element is imperfect in nature; the edges are blurred and Phillip’s pencil markings can be clearly seen, this contrasts with the machine-made nature of the postcard, making the work personal and also lending the surface texture. Phillips’ choice of subtle, muted pinks, lilacs and greys complements the monochrome nature of the postcard; the feminine qualities of these colours also reflect the eponymous heroine of the novel. This is by no means the first time that Phillips has taken a great work of literature as inspiration or basis for his work, eg. After Henry James