RICHARD PRINCE "BOMB JOKE", 1989
Richard Prince (b. 1949) is one of the most innovative, influential and polemic American artists. Whether you associate him with The Pictures Generation, post-modernism or Appropriation Art, his contribution (and subversive humor) is undeniable. He lives and works in upstate New York.
Prince has worked in a variety of formats over the course of his career, yet each of his iconic and provocative series shares a similar approach: Prince’s jokes tap into social preoccupations of the national subconscious. At his best, he extracts elements from the American vernacular culture and positions it in a way similar to Duchamp's urinal.
Prince started to work with jokes in 1986. These works were a bold contradiction to the reigning hierarchies in the art world perpetuated by Minimalism or Neo-Expressionist painting.
This early example from 1989 features a joke handwritten by the artist. The simple joke seems to concern his sexual frustrations and is relying on a punch line: "You know I just don't have the incentive to buy a two pants suit".
The simple, or anti-aesthetic seems to be simultaneously parodying tropes established by Conceptual and Minimalist artists of the previous decade.
Note: the artwork was included in a limited edition book, "Inside World", that coincided with an exhibition of Prince's work at the Kent Gallery.
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"Bomb Joke", 1989
Ink on paper (handwritten multiple)
Signed by the artist
12"H 8"W (work)
Very good condition
Detailed condition report by request
Literature: Jonathan Lethem, Richard Prince: Collected Writings, 2011.
Provenance: Pat Hearn Gallery, NYC
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