So, Gerhard Richter and Richard Prince. They've both had their way with photography, and painting, and even squeegeeing, but do we ever consider them together? I mean, I've tweaked on each of them for several years now, and even I have to admit, I haven't thought of their work in relation to each other, until this instant:
Gerhard Richter's 1996 photo edition, Small Bather, is based on an identically titled painting from a couple of years earlier.
And yes it's the blur, but it's also maybe the towel on Mrs. Richter's head, but when I saw it in the Christie's catalogue for next month's London sale, the first thing I thought was "Whoa, Nurse Painting."
Seriously, how awesome would that be? I mean, the Chapmans worked over those Goya prints; and Kippenberger turned that Richter into a coffee table. I mean, sure you could paint over an inkjet of the thing, and flag your est. £40,000 - £60,000 for other things. But why?
On his site, Richter shows Small Bather, above, as it was published: "Cibachrome photograph, fixed on stiff, white cardboard, framed, behind glass."
This example at Christie's, though, is only shown cropped to the c-print, and is only listed as on the "artist's mount," which, that's where it's signed and numbered, so. So? So if some chucklehead compromised this particular piece by taking it out of the artist's frame, why not use it as an ingredient in a new work? There are presumably still at least 53 others out there to carry on.
Contemporary Day Sale, Feb. 14, 2013 Lot 183: Gerhard Richter, Kl Badende, Small Bather, est. £40,000 - £60,000 [christies.com]
Kl. Badende | Small Bather, 1996 [gerhard-richter.com]