Richard Prince American, b. 1949



Richard Prince is a painter and photographer, best known as a pioneer of Appropriation Art. Born in the Panama Canal Zone, Prince grew up in Massachusetts and moved to New York in 1977, where he prepared magazine clippings for Time-Life, spurring his interest in advertising and consumer imagery. He began creating works based on various pop culture images taken from magazines and newspapers, often re-photographing and manipulating the images in his own works. Considered by many the father of Appropriation Art, the majority of his works includes scandalous subject matter and has provoked controversy around issues of copyright in the art world.  In the mid-1980s, Prince shifted his interest from images to text, evident in his Jokes series, displaying appropriated jokes in ironic works.


From his home in Upstate New York, Prince created his late Nurse Paintings series, inspired by pulp romance novels, as well as his own photographs of everyday rural and suburban life. He acquired an abandoned farmhouse near his home in 2001, which he turned into an installation site he called Second House, installing the interior with his sculptures, paintings, and his own books; the structure has been purchased by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, but was struck by lightning and destroyed in 2007. In the fall of that year, Prince’s work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Prince currently lives and works in Upstate New York.