Richard Prince - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Patrick Painter Inc, Santa Monica
    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Santa Monica, Patrick Painter Inc, Richard Prince New Works, 19 January – 9 March 2002

  • Literature

    Modern Painters, Special American Issue, Autumn 2002, p 75 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Prince’s history of working in the advertising industry during 1970’s spurred a vast knowledge and interest of the ways that culture is propagated. Prince soon became fascinated by America’s subgroups, why they stood in defiance to the mainstream and the lifestyles they styled for themselves. He begins to use appropriation by re- photographing images that had previously been in the magazines he had worked with as a means of questioning the validity that an image can hold. This is a highly intelligent piece of art in its recognition of the viewer’s desire to seek unity out of disparate elements. Prince realises that without some element of organisation, the spectator becomes alienated and thus cannot connect to a work of art. He solves this problem by creating a series of black forms, which are placed in such a way that captures our intrigue; the proximity of these forms and their repetitive layout establishes a relationship between them, which we are left to decode for ourselves. It is this process of thinking, doubting and investigating which draws us to Prince’s pieces. Many have suggested that the shapes are reminiscent of a startled clown’s face, which would comply with the choice of the title but also reaffirms the desire to seek out a face within art as a way of feeling less alienated by it. Whether this be the artist’s intention or not, there is no denying that humour has played a continuing role in Prince’s career as a means of poking fun at societal situations.

  • Artist Biography

    Richard Prince

    American • 1947

    For more than three decades, Prince's universally celebrated practice has pursued the subversive strategy of appropriating commonplace imagery and themes – such as photographs of quintessential Western cowboys and "biker chicks," the front covers of nurse romance novellas, and jokes and cartoons – to deconstruct singular notions of authorship, authenticity and identity.

    Starting his career as a member of the Pictures Generation in the 1970s alongside such contemporaries as Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and Sherrie Levine, Prince is widely acknowledged as having expanded the accepted parameters of art-making with his so-called "re-photography" technique – a revolutionary appropriation strategy of photographing pre-existing images from magazine ads and presenting them as his own. Prince's practice of appropriating familiar subject matter exposes the inner mechanics of desire and power pervading the media and our cultural consciousness at large, particularly as they relate to identity and gender constructs.

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My Funny Valentine

acrylic on silkscreen frame
219.5 x 175 cm (86 3/8 x 68 7/8 in.)
Signed and dated ‘Richard Prince 2001’ on the stretcher and again ‘Richard Prince 2001’ on the reverse.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Day Sale

+44 207 318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 16 October 2014 2pm