Continuation Painting with Richard Prince


RICHARD PRINCE: You know,
there’s just lots of different things that I do. And sometimes I spend a day
doing a de Kooning painting. And then I’ll spend the
rest of the day doing a nurse painting. The next day I’ll
do a photograph. And the day after that, I’ll
do a hood sculpture. And nothing ever really
looks the same. It really depends upon
the subject matter. The subject matter sort
of dictates the look of the final thing. I moved to New York around
1973 or something. And then I left around
1986 to come up here. I wanted the exact opposite
of New York. I didn’t want anything
in between. I wanted something that
was really exotic. So I had never really
been in the country. In fact, it really kind
of scared me at first. This is basically pretty
much of an extreme. We live at the end of a
dead end dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been able to build
this environment here. It’s like a little town at
the end of the road. And you can do different
projects. I’m sort of interested in
building buildings and fooling around with architecture, which
is something I couldn’t do in the city. I mean, sometimes I’ll go for,
like, five or six days, and the only person I’ll see is the
FedEx guy, or the UPS guy. It’s not about collaboration
up here. You’re pretty much
on your own. I like the idea of just
getting lost. It can get bad up here
in the winter. I mean, it can really
drag on you. It’s mostly the ice storms,
where you really can’t move. It can get to you. So this is one of our local
establishments. We can grab some chow here. We’ve got this restaurant in
town that opens Thursday through Sunday. And that’s it. There’s no gas station. There’s no grocery store. There’s nothing. AMANDA WILBER: There’s not
really much to do in the town. He’s a good customer. We serve breakfast and lunch. And usually he gets
a Philly steak or grilled cheese with tomato. RICHARD PRINCE: Cheesesteak
with some potato chips? -Cheesesteak? AMANDA WILBER: And chips. -And potato chips? RICHARD PRINCE: Yeah. AMANDA WILBER: I did a photo
shoot with him about 2000. Made the front cover of a
magazine called “Purple.” I haven’t really seen a
lot of his artwork. I’ve heard that it’s
very unique. RICHARD PRINCE: You
know, I have these impulses and these desires. And I just go ahead and do it. I mean, the art world likes to
be hammered over the head with the same thing because they
want to feel like that’s what you do. And they want to be able
to say, OK, that’s what he or she does. I don’t know why the cowboys
are works that people really want. And I don’t know
why the nurses. I mean, certainly the nurses– I have no idea why. This is the actual,
the original cover for that paperback. I sort of mess with it
intervene, with it, contribute to it, continue it, and
make it my own work. -So tell me about them. RICHARD PRINCE: Right now, I’m
working on what I refer to as a de Kooning painting. Basically, it’s something I
started doing a couple of summers ago. It’s gotten to this
point right now. I’ve always liked de Kooning’s
women paintings. It started off with
a book of his. And I just started
drawing on it. And I would just sort of
continue to draw, just use him as a starting point,
add stuff to his. Anyway, I just started fooling
around, and one thing led to another. After I did the books, I started
to make collages. So it’d be like a one of his
women on the left, and one of my men on the right. So that was my contribution. Then I send this out. This is what I get back. And it’s pretty rough at
this particular point. But basically, I know what I’m
going to do with this. And then it goes from
here to here. It’s sort of like a trial and
error where I’ll put five or six different arms and
legs, just trying different rhythms out. Bring this hand down
here and crossover. Put a kind of Picasso-like
foot. You know, it’s just kind of a
new way of dealing with the figure, this idea of the
photographic part and the drawing part fused together. I’ve never really cared about
how the public has perceived my work. I could care less. It’s really good that people
collect my work because it means that I can make
other work. We can go in this room here. You’ve got to kind of
squeeze through. This is another workspace. These are paintings that
I’ve kept for myself. A lot of these are just
variations on the joke paintings that I started
doing jokes in 1986. And the joke paintings were
really kind of monochromatic– just two colors, color on the
background, and the joke was silkscreened in a color. And then they got very
painterly, like this. This is probably
six years ago. I mean, the reason why I painted
them was I wanted to present the radicality of the
subject matter in a very traditional way. That’s all. This is about 3,500
pounds of clay. And all it rolls back,
and it rolls forward. But this is a model, a clay
model, for the a Ford GT40. For me, a lot about what I think
about is, I guess, you could talk about in terms of
this idea of continuation. That all it this is really a– it’s something that’s added
on from what has been done before me. And the idea of buying a book
and calling it yours is something that you have
to give yourself permission to do. Obviously, someone else
can’t do it for you. I mean, a lot of people would
probably say, well, wait a minute, you really
can’t do this. You can’t go out, and buy a
book, and sign it, call it yours, and sell it. But for me, that’s
very easy to do. It’s not really about being new
as more as about this idea something continued. I’ve always liked this road. This is like my little museum. I always liked the way
it sat in this field. It floated in the sea of grass,
which I really love. We can go in if you want. It’s sort of like, I like the
idea of a space that’s not necessarily a gallery or a
museum, that’s more like a domestic space. And the idea that you get when
your eye is looking at a piece that looks out. And it sees stuff outside
the window. And it’s independent
of anything. I really took my
time with this. And I thought about what
was going to go in it. I mean, this place was
really screwed up. It had been used as
a hunting lodge. And the guy died like
halfway through. I mean, it didn’t
have a bathroom. It didn’t have any walls,
or bedrooms, or– it was pretty nuts. And I really liked the idea
that it was abandoned. I had my eye on it for
years and years. I used to ride by
and look at it. And there’s something about
an abandoned house. It looks like it has
a life of its own. And then I put about 11 or 12
different pieces of art in it. And that was it. It’s enough. And then I sold it,
the whole thing. You got the whole thing. I’ve got my Sid Vicious
paintings here. These are called
cluster flies. They are kind of the
domestic problem. Yeah, I’ve got to clean
up these flies. Someone broke in here. Well, nobody stole anything. RICHARD PRINCE: Yep, for now. And that’s my ’73 Barracuda
that’s permanently parked. I guess the original paint
is coming through. I used to drive this thing. And I guess you could
eventually make an appointment. You’d be able to come up
here and maybe have some lunch or something. I was going to use this land–
it’s about 80 acres. I was going to have a festival,
a little music festival, every summer. And we were going to
build some stages. And I was going to invite
people to perform. But don’t think that’s
going to happen now.

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