What I find is that the taking, the stealing, the appropriation of images has to do with prior availability, and it sets up a degree where things can be shared… It’s like 50% off… You can let something of another emotion or another personality sign on your work, or co-sign it.
—— Richard Prince
Richard Prince is a painter and photographer, considered by many as the father of Appropriation Art. He reintroduced pictorial imagery in painting by borrowing from mass media, a practice he conceived in Time-Life when he prepared selections of magazine clippings. Drawn by the Marlboro photoshoots, Prince created the famous Cowboys series by omitting the logos of products in the cigarette ads. By the mid-1980’s, Prince’s Jokes series show his shift in interest from images to text, composed with appropriated jokes of American culture. His late Nurse Paintings series are inspired by pulp romance novels and his own photographs of rural and suburban life. Throughout his career, Prince continues to redefine the concepts of authorship and ownership while simultaneously probing sexism, racism, humor and stereotypes in various ways. As a result, Prince’s works include scandalous and controversial subjects that constantly stretch the bounds of copyright in art. While most often directly inspired from a single photo, book cover, or joke, his works exhibit originality in art process and expression. Prince currently lives and works in Upstate New York.