Richard Prince is considered one of the most important artists of the modern era. Practising in Painting and Photography, and based in New York.
Born: 1949, Panama
Location: New York
About Richard Prince
Richard Prince lept to fame when in the late 1970’s he re-photographed already published images as art work, creating wide swept discussions surrounding copyright laws in the art world. Inparticular his rephotography of cigarette advertisements, that he was exposed to during his days working in the Times Magazine’s tear sheets department, that were to become ground breaking and iconic still to this day.
Richard Prince cites some of his greatest influences in his art work as being consumerism themed novels by American Writer J. G. Ballard. Namely “The Altrocity Exhibition” and “Crash”.
The controversy surrounding Prince’s work did not stop at the appropriation art he was to become so famous for, but also specifically around his 1983 piece featuring a naked Brooke Shields, then aged 10 years old, a photograph taken originally by Gary Gross, which led to lawsuits from the photographer and Shields mother.
Whilst throughout his illustrious career Richard Prince has presented numerous series of works, his most recent and one of his most famous, is his series entitled The Nurse Paintings, the paintings were based on and painted over scanned covers of Pulp Romance Novels, and have, since debuting in 2003, have risen to be worth a minimum of $5-6 million per painting. The paintings have become iconic in Popular Culture, even being seen influencing Marc Jacobs recent Louis Vuitton collection.
Although, widely known for his rephotography, Prince is also notorious for his “Joke” paintings. He was known for using jokes that could be considered overplayed or overused and would pair them with images that had no relevance to one another. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Prince played with text and images substantially, much alike Barbara Kruger at that time. The importance of the “Joke” paintings was not the joke itself but the additional artistic value it added to the paintings. Whether it was the typography or the color of the text, or the joke itself that should be analyzed is always up to individual interpretation.
Whether you feel Richard Prince was a groundbreaking artist who brought a new life to everyday images or an out right thief there is no denying that he has made his impact on the art world.