Born in 1949, Richard Prince is one of the most well known painters and photographers of his generation. This American-born artist has created an impressive body of work, and he continues to influence the next generation of artists with his unique take on the art of photography.
Richard Prince is known for many things, but one of his earliest and most famous techniques started with copying the work of other photographers. One of his earliest images was photographed from a photograph taken by Sam Abeli. This rephotograph was also the first of its kind to bring more than a million dollars when it was auctioned at Christie's New York.
While he is considered one of the most commercially successful photographers of his generation, Richard Prince has famously turned down money for his works on occasion. The most well known example of this was when Richard Prince returned a payment of more than $35,000 he had previously received for a portrayal of Ivanka Trump. In returning the money, Richard Prince said that he could not allow his work to be part of the Trump family collection.
Richard Prince is also known for his more controversial works of art and photography, including his iconic Jokes series. This series of photographs was started in 1986, and it highlights the sexual fantasies and frustrations of ordinary Americans. By using a combination of burlesque humor and standup comedy, Richard Prince was able to handle a delicate subject with grace, dignity and a unique artistic sensibility.
The work of Richard Prince can be found in museums and galleries throughout the world, including famous examples at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It is only fitting that some of his best photographs hang at the Whitney - after all, Richard Prince called New York City his home for more than 25 years.
After more than a quarter century spent living and working in New York City, Richard Prince later moved to upstate New York. In addition to his other works, Richard Prince was well known for Second House, a kind of miniature museum which was later acquired by the Guggenheim.
Sadly, Second House lasted just six years - from 2001 to 2007. The famous mini museum burned down after being struck by lightning, but in just a short time it made a significant mark on the worlds of art and photography.
Born in 1949, Richard Prince got his start in the Panama Canal Zone, where his parents worked for the U.S. government. Later, Richard Prince would move to Braintree, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. He moved again in 1973, this time to new York City, where he joined Time, Inc, working in their library and supplying them with the tear sheets they used.
While working in New York City, Richard Prince became interested in the school of abstract expressionism, particularly in the works of Jackson Pollock. The unique work of Pollock held real power for the young Richard Prince, and Pollock would continue to serve as a guide and spiritual mentor.
By the time he finished high school, Richard Prince was already deeply interested in art, and at the age of 18 he flew to Europe to explore the art world, and the world at large, on a deeper level.
After a deeply satisfying trip to Europe, Richard Prince came home, where he attended Nasson College in Maine. The structure of the school fit him well, and many of his fellow students were also deeply interested in the world of art.
Richard Prince was also deeply interested in New York City, an interest sparked in part by Franz Kline's famous photograph of his 14th Street studio. By the late 1970s, Richard Prince began to pursue his art in a serious way, and by 1980 he had landed a residency at the famous CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
Other exhibits soon followed, including shows at the Jancar Kuhlenschmidt Gallery in Los Angeles, making Richard Prince a truly bicoastal sensation. After a long and successful career, Richard Prince was honored with a retrospective of his work in 2007. That retrospective took place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and it examined his work in chronological order, from his earliest pieces to his most recent successes.
Throughout his decades of work, Richard Prince has enjoyed a level of success few of his generation can match. Even after all this time, the early work of Richard Prince continues to be highly collectible, and his most recent pieces are considered extremely valuable as well.
Untitled (cowboys), 1986
28 3/4 x 40 inches
Untitled (Protest Painting), 1994
acrylic, silkscreen on canvas
43 3/4 x 20 1/2 inches
So What Else is New, 1988
Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
56 x 48 inches
Spiritual America IV, 2005
C-print in the artist's frame
93 1/2 x 75 inches