(MENAFN) Richard Phillips, a 75-year-old artist from Detroit, may be America's unlikeliest art phenom. In 2019, he had his first exhibit, and his paintings have since gained recognition and acclaim. However, Phillips' journey to becoming an artist was not an easy one. In 1971, he was wrongfully arrested for murder and spent the next 46 years in prison. To pass the time and cope with the injustice, he turned to painting, using it as a way to occupy his mind and escape the reality of his situation.
Despite being exonerated in 2018, Phillips was left without any support or resources upon his release. He was unsure how he would survive, and he feared he would have to beg for money in order to get by. However, he soon realized that he could use his artwork to make a living. Over the years, he had created hundreds and hundreds of watercolor paintings, and he began selling them to support himself.
Through his art sales, Phillips was able to buy a new house, a car, and even a dog. He has been able to enjoy the things he was denied for nearly half a century, and he has found a sense of purpose and fulfillment in his artistic endeavors. However, he remains committed to social reform and criminal justice. He is involved with the Innocence Network, an organization that works to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals and reform the criminal justice system.
Phillips' story is one of resilience and determination. Despite the injustices he faced, he found a way to express himself through his art and to create a new life for himself. His paintings reflect his experiences and his perspective on the world, and they serve as a testament to the power of creativity and self-expression. Through his work, Phillips has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for others who have faced adversity and overcome it through art.
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