Int Studio 2: Visual Culture – Artist Research: Trap

This artist’s trap gives artist Richard Prince a taste of his own medicine so to speak; I employed some of his reproduction and collage techniques to appropriate, repackage, and re-present Prince’s original work in a new context. Using a retrospective book on Prince as my source, (much like Prince’s infamous “Untitled (Cowboy)” photos were created by photographing advertisements in a magazine) I employed his favored methods of rephotographing using a simple analog film camera, text collage, and the large format print, to create these pieces. I appropriated Prince’s work, reformatted it, and juxtaposed it with critical writing that undermines and uproots the intention of the original “rephotographs,” ultimately dramatically changing their context and meaning. I collaged my photos with text excerpts from critical articles that have appeared in recent years questioning Prince’s motivations and intentions, as well as the ultimate value of his work. Prince’s rephotographing of “all-American” imagery like cigarette advertisements, sexualized pulp novel covers, or his “Girlfriends” series, from which I sourced these images, may have been presented as offering a sort of existential critique on American society, but with closer examination are in many senses simply a perpetuation of the machismo, hyper-masculine mythos of the American dream Prince acts removed from, but in reality seems to be a victim of.

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