Staff Show 2015: Sandy Lee

In this series, Assistant to the Education Department Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through October 4, 2015.

Harley Quinn by Sandy Lee

Sandy Lee, Harley Quinn, August 2015, acrylic, marker, motor oil on canvas

Sandy Lee graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in Art Studio. He has done a lot of airbrushing of t-shirts and hockey goalie masks.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?
I am the IT Support Specialist at the Phillips, and am just starting my eighth year here.

Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?
The most fulfilling thing is being able to assist all of the departments with various IT needs, be it virtual gallery modeling, video conferences, or working with artists on exhibition projections. It NEVER gets boring!  One of the coolest projects I was able to work on was uploading hi-res images of Mark Rothko’s Ochre and Red on Red to Marvel Studios for use in the “Iron Man 3” movie.  It’s in Tony Stark’s apartment, and it gets blown up in one of the action scenes.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection?
Raoul Dufy! The artworks remind me of the Pepe Le Pew cartoons.  Also, Marjorie Phillips’s Night Baseball—there is such detail in that painting, so you know she loved the game.

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?
It’s so difficult to pick one. The Music Room has a quiet, dark elegance to it, as well as the Rothko Room. The galleries change constantly, so visit often!

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2015 Staff Show (or your work in general)?
I’m a huge fan of illustration, and I modeled the painting after one of Alphonse Mucha’s posters from the Art Nouveau era. I added motor oil as the background because I had just finished doing an oil change on my car, and it’s got a nice sheen and odor of the city. Harley Quinn is also one of my favorite comic icons; you’ll see her in the upcoming movie “Suicide Squad.”


The 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view September 2 through October 4, 2015. The show features artwork from The Phillips Collection staff. Please join us at the Staff Show reception on Thursday, September 17 6-8 pm.

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