Biography of Richard Prince
Richard Prince is one of the most high profile and controversial figures working in contemporary art today. His brazen appropriation of the work of others exposes the vapidness of our modern celebratory driven lives, while maintaining a sophisticated critique of American consumer culture. Never far from the headlines, Prince’s work questions our obsession with originality and iconography, and what it is to be unique in a world where everything is reproduced.
Born in 1949 and brought up in a suburb of Boston, by the early 70s Richard Prince had moved to New York where he quickly became involved in the downtown music and art scenes. It was while working in a tear-sheet department of a large publishing house that he began photographing adverts, cropping out all text, leaving only the disconnected images of American aspiration.
Richard Prince’s re-photographing of Marlboro cigarette advertisements in the 80s was lambasted by the press but has since been recognized as a seminal work. Always stretching the concepts of intellectual property rights, Prince has also appropriated images from people’s private Instagram accounts. Perhaps fittingly he has always been keen to disseminate his work through editions and multiples. Prince has featured heavily in 2 Venice Biennales in 1988 and 2007 and among other exhibitions worldwide had a major retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York in 2007.