Richard Prince

American artist, born in Panama. His practice has been associated with appropriation. He came to attention in the early 1980s with photographs blown up from sections of advertisements. They would isolate features such as the cowboy whose image advertised a well-known brand of cigarettes. They matched perfectly the Postmodern view, current in art theory at that time, of the impossibility of originality. Prince's subsequent work has shown a preoccupation with the yearnings and dissatisfactions which underwrite contemporary culture. A series of paintings are based on vulgar cartoons which tend to express the bitterness of the modern American male. Captions and pictures can be interchangeable. A man is seen coming home to find his wife on the knee of another man. It is labelled ‘I remember practicing [sic] the violin in front of a roaring fire. My old man walked in. He was furious. We didn’t have a fireplace.’ Another series of paintings is derived from the covers of popular novelettes about nurses. Prince has been highly influential on younger artists.

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