Richard Prince, ‘Untitled (Oriental Glasses)’, 1982, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

From the Catalogue

“These images were before Photoshop. Before digital. Before computers. But they had that ‘impossible’ look. Purple Haze. They were in and out of focus at the same time.” —Richard Prince

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed, dated 1982 and numbered 1/2

Exh. Cat., Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst (and traveling), Richard Prince, Paintings-Photographs, 2001, p. 101, illustrated
Rosetta Brooks, Jeff Rian, Luc Sante, Eds., Richard Prince, London 2003, p. 31, illustrated
Exh. Cat., New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Richard Prince: Spiritual America, 2008, p. 77, illustrated

Skarstedt Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000

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