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The Mom Tapes (excerpt), by Ilene Segalove

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Untitled (four single men with interchangeable backgrounds looking to the right)

Richard Prince (American, born Canal Zone (Panama), 1949)

Date:
1977
Medium:
Mixed media on paper
Dimensions:
58.4 x 48.3 cm (23 x 19 in. )
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.123
Rights and Reproduction:
© Richard Prince
  • Description

    In the mid-1970s, Prince was an aspiring painter who earned his living at Time-Life clipping articles from magazines for staff writers. What was left at the end of the day were the ads: gleaming luxury goods and impossibly perfect models that provoked in the artist an uneasy mix of fascination and repulsion, disgust and envy. By 1977, Prince had begun rephotographing these advertisements in order to, as he put it, "turn the lie back on itself." Acting as art director, artist, and viewer, he imagined his purloined images as stills from a movie in his head. He developed a repertoire of strategies-blurring, cropping, enlarging, grouping-that revealed the hallucinatory strangeness, or "social science fiction," of his seemingly natural source material.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated in pencil BRC: "R Prince 1977"; typescript partially covered with white paint beneath image: "four single men with interchangeable backgrounds looking to the right"

  • Provenance

    the artist; [Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York City]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
283712

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