Like Warhol in the 1960s, Prince is perfectly attuned to the foibles and vanities of his time, especially the dominant role that celebrity and spectacle plays in every aspect of our culture. He has cultivated the shadowy, anti-heroic persona of his spiritual forefather, that of the elusive trickster who purloins and recycles seductive or explosive imagery (even occasionally working under pseudonyms). In his most recent Publicity series, the artist created Duchampian "assisted readymades" by obsessively collecting 8 x 10-inch glossy promotional photographs of show business personalities. Interspersing "authentic" autographs from celebrities (or usually their assistants) with those forged by the artist himself, Prince makes explicit the issues of authorship and appropriation, which he has explored throughout his career, by demonstrating that the meanings of images are determined primarily by the unruly desires of the viewer.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed by the artist in ink, recto OA: "To Ri [signature illegible] Pr [signature illegible] // all the best // Pamela Anderson"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 31," January 28, 2002–May 19, 2003.