Richard Prince, ‘Untitled (Fayy), from the Entertainers series’, 1982, Heritage Auctions
Richard Prince, ‘Untitled (Fayy), from the Entertainers series’, 1982, Heritage Auctions

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Artforum, "Richard Prince, Baskerville + Watson," January 1985, p. 88, illus.; C. Diserens and V. Todoli, Spiritual America, Valencia, 1989, p. 34, illus.

303 Gallery, New York; Private collection, acquired from the above 1987.

About Richard Prince

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.”

American, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, based in New York, New York