One of the most influential US artists from the 1980s onwards and a central figure of American ‘The Pictures Generation’, Richard Prince (b. 1949) often uses banal images from our entertainment and consumption culture, which he twists and transforms in a way where the ordinary is "uplifted" into something both strange and seductive.
In art historical terms Prince belongs to the Pictures Generation, known for appropriating – that is, ‘stealing’ – existing images. In so doing, Prince undermines the idea that an artist will always have something recognisable about them, a style that binds their different groups of works together. Prince is an ambiguous figure and his style is subject to variation. In isolation this sometimes aids the impression that his works are inaccessible – that they float around without a creator. Nevertheless, all of Prince’s work revolves around identity, thus turning his visual world into a portrait of the late twentieth-century.
In his work, Prince highlights the marginal and banal aspects of society: jokes, photographs, advertisements, idol worship and other forms of "everyday cult". He manages to identify and sample visual codes and finely tune them so that they become seductive and strange despite their banality.
The exhibition entitled SAME MAN is the first presentation of Richard Prince in Scandinavia presenting 89 works, many of which are from the artist’s own extensive archive. The exhibition includes, among other things, his now famous ‘rephotographs’, which he creates by taking pictures of existing images typically sourced from glossy magazines. Using the cropping of the camera and a multitude of nuances in the form of colour, lighting, focus or even tape, Prince opens the way for a fresh interpretation of the images.
In the studio with Richard Prince
Louisiana Channel visited Richard Prince in his studio upstate New York to talk about his life and work. This video includes a unique insight into his personal archive.