Richard Prince, ‘Untitled (House)’, 1993-1994, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

From the Catalogue

"I never really started telling (jokes), I started telling them over. Back in 1985, in Venice, California, I was drawing my favorite cartoons in pencil on paper. After this I dropped the illustration or image part of the cartoon and concentrated on the punch line." —Richard Prince

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed, titled and dated 1993 on the reverse; signed and dated 1994 on the overlap

Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Private Collection, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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