Richard Prince is the preeminent inventor-archeologist of American iconography. Since the early 80’s when he chose to show a re-photographed single image of the pre-pubescent Brooke Shields oiled, naked, and titled ‘Spiritual America’, Prince has led the way in the quest to expose the latent violence and sexuality that underwrites the American way.
Appropriating images from the cultural fringes - bikers, surfers, potheads, cowboys, outlaws, pornographers, etc - and blowing them up to large scale, he has described this type of photography as ‘practicing without a license’. Out of these unauthorized images, Prince has created his own type of pulp-fiction.
His recent series of nurse paintings slathered in drippy paint and sunset magenta hues have been exhibited worldwide. His interest in the deeply engrained stereotypes that surround the naughty doctor / nurse / patient relationship have led him to photograph Kate Moss for W magazine.
Best known for his sophisticated critiques of the insidious myths of American consumer culture. Prince’s ironic appropriations are both deconstruction of regressive stereotype and celebration of forbidden pleasure.