Medium

Though the quote “good artists borrow, great artists steal” is traditionally attributed to Pablo Picasso, it could well be Richard Prince’s motto. Prince mines mass-media images to redefine concepts of ownership and authorship, a practice he conceived of while working in the tear-sheets department of Time-Life. In his “Cowboys” series, for example, started in the early 1980s, he re-photographed Marlboro ads, cropping out text to generate close-ups of mythical cowboy figures. His “Nurse” works—first exhibited in 2003—were produced by scanning the covers of pulp paperbacks, transferring them to canvas, and painting over the prints. An avid collector of American subcultures, Prince has also turned his eye to biker chicks, Borscht Belt jokes, and Willem de Kooning canvases. “I don’t see any difference now between what I collect and what I make,” he says. “It’s become the same.”

High auction record
$9.7m, Christie's, 2016
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Richard Prince: High TimesGagosian
2018
Richard Prince: High TimesGagosian
2017
Richard Prince: Untitled (cowboy)Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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Untitled (Cowboys), 1986

Ektacolor print
24 × 20 in
61 × 50.8 cm
Sold
Location
New York
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Medium

Though the quote “good artists borrow, great artists steal” is traditionally attributed to Pablo Picasso, it could well be Richard Prince’s motto. Prince mines mass-media images to redefine concepts of ownership and authorship, a practice he conceived of while working in the tear-sheets department of Time-Life. In his “Cowboys” series, for example, started in the early 1980s, he re-photographed Marlboro ads, cropping out text to generate close-ups of mythical cowboy figures. His “Nurse” works—first exhibited in 2003—were produced by scanning the covers of pulp paperbacks, transferring them to canvas, and painting over the prints. An avid collector of American subcultures, Prince has also turned his eye to biker chicks, Borscht Belt jokes, and Willem de Kooning canvases. “I don’t see any difference now between what I collect and what I make,” he says. “It’s become the same.”

High auction record
$9.7m, Christie's, 2016
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
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View series
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