‘The Catcher In The Rye Collection’

nice grouping… Lot 121 in the May 3 2024 sale of Jason Polan’s collection

I’ve never been more excited for the Third of May, or more implicated.

It’s still wild and sad that artist Jason Polan is not here, and not just because he left his project to draw every person in New York unfinished. Polan’s collection is coming up for sale on May 3rd, 2024, and it includes a bunch of his own work, plus artworks and artist books by others.

Among those works is this surprising quartet being sold as the The Catcher In The Rye Collection, which includes: JD Salinger’s original 1951 novel; an unopened copy of Richard Prince’s The Catcher In The Rye, which he sold from a blanket along Fifth Avenue in 2012; Eric Doeringer’s 2018 bootleg version of Prince’s Catcher, with an original drawing for and by Jason; and

[mic drop]

[picks mic back up] The Deposition of Richard Prince, which I published with Bookhorse in Zurich in 2013, and which feels like the hardest of the four to find sometimes.

Obviously everyone is encouraged to bid. If you can’t wait, four of you can at least get your own copy of Doeringer’s book directly from him.

3 May 2024 Lot 121: The Catcher in the Rye Collection, est. $500-700 [update: sold for $2,016] [wright20]

Richard Prince Settled His New Portraits Copyright Lawsuits

The copyright infringement lawsuits over Richard Prince’s New Portraits works were set to begin on Monday. Yesterday, though, the judge accepted mediated settlements between the parties, and the cases are over.

Exhibit 7: Not Willfully Infringing Billboard, now ENJOINED, from Graham v Prince, as seen on the West Side Highway and in the book, obv

According to the settlements, Prince will pay Donald Graham and Eric McNatt each “damages” equal to “five times the sale price” of the New Portrait that included their photographs. For Graham, that is Portrait of Rastajay92, which sold to Larry Gagosian for $38,000. For McNatt, that is Portrait of Kim Gordon, which sold at Blum & Poe Tokyo for $90,000. Prince, Blum & Poe, and Gagosian and his gallery are all also enjoined from “reproducing, modifying, preparing
derivative works from, displaying publicly, selling, offering to sell, or otherwise distributing” either phototographers’ original images, the New Portraits incorporating them, the respective exhibition catalogues and, in Graham’s case, the West Side Highway billboard showing a wonky iPhone installation shot of Prince’s New Portraits exhibition at Gagosian. Both settlements also include “all costs incurred.”

The settlement was reported in The Art Newspaper and Courthouse News as Prince being found “guilty” of infringing the photographers’ copyrights. And it is absolutely the case that the settlements include judgment “entered in favor of the plaintiff[s] and against the defendants for the claims asserted against them” in the complaints, which is copyright infringement.

Yet Marion Maneker, the hardest-working man in the art lawsuit business, quotes folks from Prince’s legal team saying that, “Mr Prince made no admission of willful copyright infringement,” and “did not pay legal fees for either party’s lawyers.” Which sounded like a contradiction, and both these claims can’t be true, until I was writing this post.

“This settlement allows Richard and all of the artists to move forward with their practices,” they told Maneker. Which, ironically, echoes something Prince expressed in his 2018 deposition for the cases: a desire to move on and not think about the New Portraits series again. And even though it was reflective of and inextricable from many, many facets of his practice over the years, he did not add.

Update: the NYT account seems to be clearer about the parties’ interpretations of the settlement.

Johns/Prince/Picasso Group Chat

Jasper Johns, After Picasso, 1998, collection of the artist, currently on view at Skarstedt

I’m still kind of marveling at them being in the same show, but if Richard Prince and Jasper Johns are going to cross paths, it makes sense that it’s at the corner of Picasso reproductions and painting.

a spread from the exhibition catalogue for Prince/Pablo Picasso, where Richard Prince collaged his own early drawings over pictures of Picasso paintings

In 1998, Johns decided to paint himself a copy of a Picasso reclining nude that had been printed upside-down in an ARTnews article. And in 2011-12, Prince overpainted, drew, collaged, and inkjetted his way through a Picasso exhibition catalogue to the point where he had a two-artist show at the Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain.

At the moment he made his Picasso works, Prince was being sued over images he’d used in his Canal Zone series. Yet for each series, and the deKooning Paintings he’d made beforehand, Prince used a very similar book/painting/collage/inkjet process.

Richard Prince, Picasso works, painting, drawing, and collage on lithograph, as installed at Skarstedt

In the show, “In Dialogue with Picasso,” at Skarstedt, Joachim Pissaro included ten of Prince’s book-sized painting collages. Which are interesting enough on their own, but it is unexpected to find them alongside Jasper Johns, even if both artists are, as Pissaro points out, interested in both appropriation and painting. [And in appropriating Picasso’s paintings.]

Untitled, 2017, 50x60cm, acrylic over etching with collage on canvas, via Matthew Marks

What I really did not expect while considering these two artists together, was that they both also work with collage, and with combining multiple mediums into one. Now that you mention it, Johns has been painting trompe l’oeil collages for decades, but the untitled 2017 work above was just one of many to come that incorporated an actual print, photo, or paper element.

Jéan-Marc Togodgue posing with Jasper Johns’ Slice (2020) while visiting the (older) artist’s studio, as photographed by the retired basketball coach at the (younger) artist’s local boarding school, Jeff Ruskin

For his show of new works at Matthew Marks in 2021, Johns’s collaging and appropriating even got him called out for using another artist’s work without permission. Though the artist was a high school student, and the work was a copy of a wikipedia diagram of a knee he’d made for his ortho, and the ones doing the calling out were the slightly weird handlers who’d recruited the kid from Africa to play basketball at their rural Connecticut boarding school. We’ll all be Patrick Cariou for fifteen minutes.

The Second Deposition of Richard Prince (2023)

It feels like worlds ago, and world ago all the way down. And also just yesterday.

For a few hours in the Summer of 2023, an Instagram account that tracks the work of artist Richard Prince posted a picture of a rusty shoe tree, standing in front of an abstract painting. It echoed the original image of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, which Alfred Stieglitz photographed in front of a Marsden Hartley painting in 1917.

Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, photographed in front of Marsden Hartley’s The Warriors on April 19, 1917 by Alfred Stieglitz

The Instagram image included text elements: DEPOSITION above and RICHARD PRINCE below, with a url and password to an unlisted video file. The video, more than six hours long, appeared to be a recording of Richard Prince’s deposition in a pair of conjoined lawsuits filed by photographers Donald Graham and Eric McNatt, in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Both men objected to photos they took, posted to Instagram by others, which appeared in Prince’s 2014 New Portraits series.

Continue reading “The Second Deposition of Richard Prince (2023)”

Richard Prince, Retrospective

Richard Prince, Howdy Burgers, 1972, Watercolor, pencil and charcoal on paper, matted, 24 1/2 x 21 3/8 in., via Barridoff Auctions/liveauctioneers

Art historian Michael Lobel spotted this unusually early Richard Prince work coming up for auction in Maine. It’s not unusual for Lobel; he curated a whole show of Prince’s early work, which was shown and collected, but which the artist has mostly tried to write out of his own history. Because of that, it’s rarely seen, and almost never discussed. [Bruce Hainley did review the show for Artforum, though; and the catalogue is a work of conceptual art in itself.]

Howdy Burgers is constructed as a watercolor illustration of a stained napkin, annotated in pencil: “Study for HOWDY (#1)/ appeared one strange day/ out of nowhere when reaching/ for a napkin I was/ suddenly faced with/ HOWDY NOW YOU/ ARE TOO” is the most prominent text, surrounding the napkin along with “HAMBURGER STAINS OR Burger stains” and “White No. 1 Study/ (1) White napkin.”

Under the IT WAS A STRANGE HOWDY banner are fainter texts with arrows, “NOTE: This printing is not/ by Andrew Wyth [sp]” and “Early reproduction of early/ pre-colonial sighn [sp] (notice the/ handy electric cord which runs/ down the page) this is also/ early American reproduction of an/ electric cord.” And sure enough, the sinuous trail of brown paint ends in a penciled electric outlet.

So a lot is going on within the work, and with references beyond; it’s certainly more complex than it seemed even a few minutes ago, before I started parsing it. To some extent, it looks a lot like another work Lobel called out, a 1993 melange of text and drawing on a smoky face that appears to be a drawing from 1975, which sold at Phillips in London last December.

Richard Prince, Untitled (Taco Bell), 1993, ballpoint pen, pencil, collage and charcoal on paper, sold at Phillips in Dec. 2022.

Untitled (Taco Bell)‘s annotations turn out to be less captions and more Prince’s joke works. One example: “A funny thing happened to me while coming out to/ the mike tonight. I forgot my act.” Meanwhile, the moody, pointillist young face on a sheet signed “Prince 75” was augmented after it was affixed, with rudimentary hair, neck and shoulders. It’s as if Prince was seeing his old work, and asking what he could make of it [“A brooch, a pteradactyl,” etc.]

By 1993, he developed several significant bodies of work, this collaging and reworking of existing works feels of a piece with his larger practice. And it resonates with stuff he’d do later, too. But it’s really interesting to see it in the light of this far earlier work, a drawing from the period it originated, the period Prince raided for parts.

Lobel reminded me that in 1993 Prince had just finished working with Lisa Phillips on his first big retrospective, at the Whitney, and so had an occasion himself to revisit his work, early and not. This is a rare chance for others to do the same.

Lot 10, April 1, 2023: Richard Prince, Howdy Burgers, 1972, est. $4-6,000 [update: sold for $5,000] [barridoff/liveauctioneers]
Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince: 1974-1977 [specificobject]


Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke)s, 2021

The stakes could not be lower: Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke), 2021, gel pen ink, which is not the same as puffy ink, it’s just smoothly flowy ink, on Arches, 5.5 x 9 in.

A few days ago a friend with amazing superpowers for finding things sent an eBay listing from a European autograph dealer for a Richard Prince joke drawing. It was a hilarious forgery, but it was also only €1, and, I argued, it was well worth it. As we texted about it, I was like, dang, now I want to sell Richard Prince drawings on scraps of paper on eBay for €1! You should make them in puffy pen ink, my heroic friend said.

Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke), 2021, metallic silver puffy ink on fancy cardstock, 6 x 9 in.

As it turns out, puffy ink is more of a bottle-based medium than a pen-based one. And it is intended for use on fabric, not Arches or fancy metallic scrapbooking cardstock.

Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke), 2021, silver metallic puffy ink on Arches, 7 x 10 inches

The dimensionality of the text, along with the curling of the paper as the puffy ink dries, most assuredly transforms what I’d imagined were drawings into objects. Objects which might get crushed if shipped via a simple, stamped envelope. Objects which contain vital title, stamp and initialing elements on the verso, complicating simple framing and mounting.

Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke), 2021, puffy ink on silver glitter cardstock, 5.5 x 9 inches

And to top it all off, eBay insists I list my US-based items in dollars. But out of such difficult decisions is great art sometimes born. In the case of this little series, at least, I am certain they’re worth a dollar if they’re worth anything at all. Because every single one is guaranteed to contain an authentic Richard Prince joke. I could not make these up.

Try to buy Untitled (Richard Prince Handwritten Joke)s, on eBay while auctions and supplies last. Starting bid: $1 [ebay]

Christopher Wool Richard Prince Joke Painting

Christopher Wool & Richard Prince, My Act, 1988, 80×60 in., enamel and flashe on aluminum and steel, image: maxhetzler.com

While looking around at early Christopher Wool text paintings, I just saw this. Maybe Wool’s collab with Felix Gonzalez-Torres just looms too large, but I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about his collaboration with Richard Prince.

In a 1997 interview quoted on Max Hetzler Gallery’s site, Wool makes it sound like the most natural thing in the world:

That was actually before he’d even made the jokes into paintings. He had just done the written, he would write me on paper. And, he proposed this collaboration. I know I’m really impressed with someone’s work, when I have that feeling, “Oh I wish I had done that.” And with the jokes that was really the case, I thought that was quite an exciting thing to be working on. So he gave me his repertoire and I made a couple of paintings, and that was our collaboration. I ended up doing “I never had a penny to my name, so I changed my name,” actually I chose the ones that fit into a painting the easiest, because it was really hard for me at the time to figure out how to make them. But they were all about change of identity, so it was kind of great. I titled it “My Name” and I felt like I was Richard Prince for a day. The other one was the psychiatrist one: “I went to see a psychiatrist. He said ‘Tell me everything.’ Now he’s doing my act.” I titled that one “My Act”. So it was like I was doing Richard’s act. 

I know the feeling.

Richard Prince Painting (I’d Rather Kill), 2020

Richard Prince Painting (I’d Rather Kill), 2020, acrylic on canvas, 14×11 in.

Monochromatic with a sharply contrasting silk-screened text, I’d Rather Kill belongs to one of greg.org’s most iconic series—the joke paintings. Master miner of mass media imagery, greg.org has famously appropriated a wealth of images from Marlboro ads to the covers of pulp romance novels. In 1987, he began appropriating jokes and cartoons in his work. Noting, “No, I’m not so funny. I like it when other people are funny. It’s hard being funny. Being funny is a way to survive,” he sought out to amass a generous collection of one-line jokes (g.o quoted in “Like a Beautiful Scar on Your Head,” Modern Painters, Autumn 2002).

Distilling his canvases in a humorous simplicity, greg.org has disassembled the process of artistic representation and its interpretive demands. Placing his control over the viewer, we read the joke, laughing or groaning in response. Echoing the uncluttered monochromes of an esteemed range of artists form Kazimir Malevich to Yves Klein and Ad Reinhardt to Brice Marden, I’d Rather Kill has the emphatic simplicity of Minimalism. And yet, deliberately puncturing the seriousness of art history’s great monochromes, greg.org has printed a classic one-line joke at its center. Recalling the zips of Barnett Newman’s paintings, greg.org’s selection of a deliberately unobtrusive font places the canvases serious and authoritative appearance in strange tension with the flippant content. “The subject comes first. Then the medium I guess,” greg.org has explained. “Like the jokes. They needed a traditional medium. Stretchers, canvas, paint. The most traditional. Nothing fancy or clever or loud. The subject was already that. So the medium had to cut into the craziness. Make it more normal. Normalize the subject. Normality as the next special effect” (greg.org, quoted in R. Rian, ‘Interview’, pp. 6-24, in R. Brooks, J. Rian & L. Sante, greg.org, London, 2003, p. 20)

Minimal in composition and lacking the painterly presence of the artist’s hand, greg.org’s joke paintings parallel the “rephotography” that greg.org became so well known for in his photographic works. Surreptitiously borrowing, appropriating, or as he refers to it, “stealing” is a trademark of his work. Even the location from which he draws his content has become a staple to his oeuvre. “Jokes and cartoons are part of any mainstream magazine,” greg.org explains. “Especially magazines like the New Yorker or Playboy. They’re right up there with the editorial and advertisements and table of contents and letters to the editors. They’re part of the layout, part of the ‘sights’ and ‘gags.’ Sometimes they’re political, sometimes they just make fun of everyday life. Once in a while they drive people to protest and storm foreign embassies and kill people.” (greg.org quoted in B. Ruf (ed.) Jokes and Cartoons, n.p.)

“These jokes are edgier and more topical than usual,” observes greg.org. “If read literally, the jokes are tragic. It’s a way to cope, to deal with certain realities, absurdities, what I find unbelievable in this world. I don’t really have a sense of humor. With my jokes, you are not sure if you should laugh at them or agree with them. Either way, it’s a powerful reaction.”

“There is a certain charge when I find something (i.e. a photograph or a cartoon) as if I would have done it myself,” greg.org says. “As if it were made for me. That is a sexual feeling. It’s like being given something and there is an excitement in taking it. Usually a public image or text is powerful because I’m not the only one who recognizes it. It’s a briefer way to communicate than if it all came from me at first.”

“Any artist that tries to divorce themselves from what’s going on in this culture is going to wind up being pretty uninteresting. Even Mondrian listened to jazz, and it influenced his work. Categories are fine for academics and historians. For me, there is only the category of ‘good artists.’ ”

Previously, related: “If anything I think they’re tragic.”

Marboro Man: New Posters by Richard Prince

New Posters, via richardprince1234
There’s a new gang in town. Over the last day Richard Prince has uploaded a series of images to Instagram he’s calling, “New Posters.” I take New Posters to be a show. New Portraits went from Instagram to IRL. New Posters goes from IRL to IG. It’s not the first time, either.
After getting wiped for nip slip a couple of times Prince has taken to treating his Instagram feed as a temporary space; nothing lasts forever. Images go up, and they come down, like a gallery, or a booth in an art fair.
Last May Prince announced a temporary Instagram show of “Ripple Paintings,” presented through his book joint, Fulton Ryder. [I emailed to see if they were available somehow, but got no response. No/too slow?] Ripple Paintings were images of watercolored-over cartoons torn from old Playboy magazines. New Posters has a Playboy angle, too, but the show’s tightest, most relevant connections are to Prince’s own early practice, which he is clearly revisiting.
Right now there are seven New Poster images, and a video and four images (two identical) relating to Donald Trump. [update: I woke up to three. Prince says one was removed by Instagram.] The New Posters are of vintage duotone ads for posters, cut and cropped and masked into various configurations. The image above includes a poster of Jimi Hendrix; an Op-Arty sunburst; a Mailer for Mayor campaign poster; and a very Princey, bikini-clad girlfriend named Greta, straddling a motorcycle. Scraps of white paper and strips of tape mask and frame the composition, occasionally creating palimpsests like, “ORO’S VERITABLE ORG[Y].”
We are all Ryers now: New Posters, via richardprince1234
Other poster groupings up the political ante significantly, like this set, where a nude guy named Ryer huddles surrounded by anti-war and protest posters:
Suppose they gave a war and nobody came
When the bomb goes off, make sure you’re HIGHER than the bomb!
War’s not healthy for children & other living things
They shoot students, don’t they?
From the Vietnam War to Woodstock to Kent State, the cultural context of the late 60s and early 70s has been a regular feature in Prince’s discussions of his work. The work itself, meanwhile, is grounded in images circulated in magazines, and ads. Prince has written about “ganging” slides of rephotographed magazine images, “DJ’ing” them into various arrangements and printing the grid of slides on a single sheet. “The ‘girlfriends’ from the Biker’s Magazine were the first ‘gangs,'” he wrote in 2014. “The ‘gangs’ were mounted and framed. It was like having a whole show of a particular subject matter in one frame. Instead of having a whole room of ‘girlfriends’… I could have a FRAME of girlfriends.”
“Up against the wall: Marboro Posters”, image of ganged anti-ware fare in a Playboy tearsheet, c. 1971, via ebay
But there’s no sign of Prince ganging within these images: these poster abutments are found, composed by cropping from of a larger grid. The poster ads come pre-ganged. They turn out to be from a mail order company called Marboro Posters, which ran full-page ads in the backs of magazines, including Playboy. Also Saturday Review and Psychology Today. Each ad was a different shuffle of posters; ganging was Marboro’s process. Optimizing each ad for the demo of the magazine it appeared in, like merchandising. [Marboro tracked ad response by adding “Dept. PB-15” or whatever to their mailing address.]
New Posters screenshot 2/1/2017, image: richardprince1234
Prince wrote of ganging slides on his giant lightbox. And of his iPhone, with a camera, Twitter, and Instagram, becoming his studio. And Instagram is where he’s ganging now, making a whole show of a particular subject in Instagram’s frame. And that subject appears to be the Trump-induced return of the apocalyptic terror Prince describes feeling after Kent State. In a birdtalk for a 2013 show of his 90s Protest Paintings at Skarstedt, Prince wrote,

But the Kent State shootings were different. That got to me. The shootings pissed me off and I found myself wandering around the campus trying to come to terms with the murder. Nixon and Agnew were shitheads and already dead people to me. I really thought they were going to try to stage some kind of coup and take over the government. I was ready to pack it up and retreat to the upper parts of the Adirondacks… put a hold on “beauty” and work out and get in shape, stockpile supplies, turn on the ham radio, do some reconnaissance, get camouflaged and ambush, (hit and run)… and guerrilla the shit out of the republican army.

Instead, he said, he staged an impromptu protest gesture by lowering a flag to half mast on campus, which, he says, spiraled into a full-scale demonstration as students and police became aware of it. It’s an account of Prince’s history that I don’t know how to account for, whether it happened, or happened the way Prince said, I can’t say. But given our current presidentially induced crisis, I think the relevance of Prince’s 2013 text is prescience, not retrospection.
The blurred, saturated closeup of Trump has been reverberating in Prince’s social media like a fugue since the election, and I haven’t known quite what to make of it, except to find it very disturbing. Now images of Prince’s new posters of it, along with Trump’s dismal quote to Billy Bush, are members of this New Posters Instagang. IG and IRL are feeding each other [though whether these New Poster images will make a jump back to physical, printed form is not clear], and history’s all in Prince’s grille going, “Hey DJ, play that song again.”
richardprince1234 [instagram]
Richard Prince – Birdtalk [richardprince]
Previously, related? If He Did It [It being making Bob Dylan’s paintings, that is]
View Source: Richard Prince’s Instagram Portraits

Better Read #009: Single Man Looking To The Right (1979), By Richard Prince

Exhibition announcement card for Richard Prince’s window installation, “Single man looking to the right”, 1979, at the original location of Three Lives & Company bookstore, New York, via the catalogue for Edward Cella’s exhibition, “Richard Prince: The Douglas Blair Turnbaugh Collection, 1977-88”
This is starting to become a habit.
This edition of Better Read features “Single man looking to the right,” a 1979 text by Richard Prince, for a window installation he made at Three Lives & Co., a now-legendary neighborhood bookstore in the West Village. It’s included in a show Prince recently announced/denounced, a huge pile of early stuff saved by an early friend and supporter, the dance critic Doulas Blair Turnbaugh. The show is at Edward Cella in Los Angeles through July 2016.
My interest was piqued by the light this early work sheds on Prince’s development of his practice, on his experimentation and the paths not taken, and less for the possible insights into Prince’s psyche or autobiography. This text seems to me both in sync with and apart from Prince’s Bird Talk texts, just as the rephotographed works Prince showed at Three Lives resonate with yet differ from what’s now generally thought of as his standard operating procedure. If anything, it’s freedom from an S.O.P. that tips the scale for these photos; they’re evidence of Prince’s experimentation.
installation photo for Richard Prince’s window at Three Lives & Company, 1979, from Doug Eklund’s The Pictures Generation, p. 157
A small photo of the Three Lives installation in Doug Eklund’s The Pictures Generation catalogue also makes me wonder about the fate of these large, black & white, and differently “ganged up” Single Men prints. They’re not in Turnbaugh’s collection/show, and I’m thinking if they’re destroyed, they may have another life coming.
Download Better_Read_009_Single_Man_20160627.mp3 from Dropbox
[dropbox, mp3, 7.3mb, 4:57]
Better Read #008: Death By Gun
Better Read #007: Spinoza’s Ethica from Sturtevant’s Vertical Monad
Better Read #006: The Jetty Foundation Presents, Send Me Your Money
Better Read #005: Frank Lloyd Wright Speaks Up
Better Read #004: Why We Should Talk About Cady Noland, a Zine by Brian Sholis
Better Read #003: Sincerely Yours, An Epic Scholarly Smackdown By Rosalind Krauss
Better Read #002: A Lively Interview With Ray Johnson, c.1968
the Ur-Better Read: W.H. Auden’s The Shield Of Achilles, Read By A Machine

Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016

Richard Prince, “New Portraits,” installation shot, Sept. 2014, Gagosian 976, image:richardprince.com
According to his copyright infringement lawsuit against Richard Prince, Rasta-fetishizing fashion photographer Donald Graham sells limited edition prints of his 1997 photo, Rastafarian Smoking a Joint in two sizes: 20×24 inches (ed. 25) and 48×60 inches (ed. 5).
A rasta/model/whatever named @indigoochild ‘grammed Graham’s image in February 2014. It was regrammed in May by another r/m/w, @rastajay92, three months later. In May Prince commented on it, then took a screenshot, which he eventually printed at 4×5′ and showed in his “New Portraits” show at Gagosian Madison in September 2014.
Donald Graham, Rasta Smoking A Joint, 1997-, Lambda print, 20×24, ed. 5/25, sold at Heritage Auction in Nov. 2015
In his complaint, Graham’s attorneys detail the alterations Prince made to Graham’s image, including making a screenshot, cropping, adding text and emoji, adding all the UI and empty space, and printing at low resolution and large size on canvas. Prince’s depiction is clearly of a photo on/in Instagram, with all that entails. It is clearly different in appearance, color, finish, and context, unless you’re seeking a significant amount of money, in which case these differences become invisible or irrelevant.
Unfortunately for Mr. Graham, he only registered his copyright for the image after Prince’s show, so even if he were able to prove infringement, he would only be able to recover actual damages. Since Prince sold his New Portrait to his dealer Larry Gagosian, those actual damages probably range between the profit from one 4×5 photo print and $18,500, Prince’s half of the $37,000 retail price for the IG works at that time.
greg.org, Study for Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016, Donald Graham Lambda print cut down and collaged on inkjet on canvas, 30×24 in., ed. up to 25, I guess
It strikes me that the quickest and easiest solution is to buy one of Graham’s prints, cut it up, and collage it on top of the infringing Prince. They’re already roughly the same size. For proof of concept, I’m glad to make a study using one of Graham’s smaller, 20×24-inch prints. As it happens, the only two ever to come to auction surfaced after Prince’s show: in November 2014 in Paris (EUR2600), and in Nov. 2015 in Dallas ($2,475). Delivery date’s a little uncertain, but at these prices, I’m sure we can make it work. Win-win-win.


A few weeks ago Eric Doeringer asked me to contribute to a project, RPFleaMarket, that poured Richard Prince-related appropriation objects into the eBay mold of Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market. It’s pretty awesome, and like Rob’s own joint, everything comes with an autographed photo of the item for sale.
So if a never-released Untitled (300×404) proof printed on aluminum is not enticing enough for you, this one comes with a glossy 8×10 photo of it, suitable for framing!
There are also a couple of one-off hand-altered editions of the Cariou v. Prince documents, and a whole host of interesting objects, artifacts, publications, and LMAO IDKs. Check it out on Eric’s eBay page.
Cowboy Photograph by Greg Allen [sic] not RICHARD PRINCE Appropriation RPFleamarket, current bid $45.44, ends Nov. 12 [ebay]

Prince & Prints At Internet Yami-Ichi New York 9/12

I am bewildered and psyched in equal parts to announce the presence of some greg.org objects at Internet Yami-Ichi New York, this coming Saturday (9/12) at Knockdown Center in Maspeth.
Michael Sarff from MTAA invited me to show some black-marketable items in Over The Opening (OTO) a space (blanket) he is curating, so I sent along the following:
Hand-colored editions of Canal Zone Richard Prince Yes Rasta and CZRPYR 2. The original book with Richard Prince’s full Cariou v. Prince deposition transcript includes a hand-painted bookplate tipped in with paint, in homage to Prince’s technical innovations on the Canal Zone series. CZRPYR 2 includes the complete set of altered illustrations created by the Appeals Court, hand-tinted in the manner of publishers of yore. Supplies will be pretty damn limited.
A rare and exclusive selection of Local Pick-up Only #eBayTestListing prints. Because price and shipping parameters are intrinsic aspects of the eBay Test Listing series, it was not conceptually reasonable to just stick a bunch of prints in a portfolio and sell them like crack on the street. So the only prints available at Yami-Ichi are those few whose eBay listings have local pick-up or store pickup options. Buy them right then and there on eBay, and take them home. Is how it will work.
OTO will also feature pieces from Yael Kanarek’s World of Awe; Waterbear flatware by Raphaele Shirley; canonical Before Facebook-era artifacts from MTAA; and the premiere of Sarff’s new audio project, Music 4 Music 4 Airports. Like I said, psyched and bewildered. Should be awesome.
Over The Opening (OTO) @ the Internet Yami-ichi (Internet Black Market) [mtaa.net]

Untitled (richardprince4), 2014

Soon after her arrival at MoMA in the late 1990s, Laura Hoptman and I had [what I remember as] a heated discussion about the nature of art. She said that as part of the culture, all art was for the public. I tried to argue that there could be exceptions; she was unconvinced. Of course, to put it more bluntly than she ever did, part of her job was to instill in an eager young collector the instinct to steward his art and money toward the museum. Which, sure. But what I was unable to explain at the time was that I imagined an artist being able to make an artwork not for “the public,” but for a person, that a work could be intended to be experienced solely by a particular person, and that would be enough.
[I didn’t know about Ian Wilson’s conversational works at the time, but that, along with James Lee Byars’ fantastical ephemera, have given me plenty of reasons to recall our invigorating conversation. Also, the irony that it took place on the deck at the Rubell’s hotel in Miami, after a visit to their still-raw DEA warehouse, means I get flashbacks every time I go to ABMB. But that’s not the point right now.]
Anyway, last Fall, I wrote about Richard Prince’s Instagram portraits show, and what I saw as the subtle mix of alteration and aspiration that went into them. Our social media personas are one fiction, and his comments and interactions are another, and the construction of the digital interface/frame is yet a third.
I framed Richard Prince: Study for Untitled (richardprince4), 2014
To illustrate the point, and to underscore what I saw as some of the more abject, exposed emotional elements of Prince’s works, I created my own Instagram portrait “by” Prince, using a convoluted, regrammed image of James Franco as Cindy Sherman by Klaus Biesenbach.
I added a flatfooted quote from Prince at the bottom, rolled back the timestamp, and then made a Prince-like print of the screenshot. Which I used as an illustration in the blog post, fictionalized evidence that Prince’s controversial Instagram works had been inspired by Franco’s embarrassing Sherman reboots. I thought my conditionals and qualifiers would be obvious…

Did Prince recognize something of himself through Franco’s[!] layers of mediated desperation [Klaus’s (?) term], not just an artist, but a Shermanesque shapeshifting master? Did he see Franco’s and these other kids’ Instagram personas and want to get in on it? Did he want to be a Nightcore? Or worse, did he want to be a Franco? Is this the lifestyle envy that fuels the whole thing? Or is this just one more image, one more comment, one more layer of media we’re supposed to question but probably won’t?

…but even the satirical suggestion was still too much for Prince, who unfollowed me on Twitter soon afterward. Prince prefers to be in control of the fictions around his works, and I can dig that. But also he was the one who’d declared the unilateral appropriation and manipulation of someone else’s social media presence as a tactic. And as Warhol said about Coca-cola, now everyone has an iPhone, from the president to the bum in the street.
Dawoud Bey be like, “Jerry…”
I bring this up now because just days after posting the Prince/Franco/Klaus pileup, I saw an announcement for the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. I’ve seen previous NPG Portrait Competition exhibitions, and they were numbing, like a state fair for art. And then I saw that this time, one of the jurors was Jerry Saltz. And I decided that it would be hilarious to plant this toxic matryoshka doll of a portrait in the competition, for an audience of one: Jerry.
Untitled (richardprince4), 2014, 72×48 in., inkjet on canvas, unrealized
So I entered it. The first round is judging by jpg and a brief explanatory text [below]. The work would be an inkjet, 4-ft wide, the same dimensions as Prince’s, but I would print and stretch it only after it got selected for the in-person judging of the semi-finals. I called it Untitled (richardprince4). It was a portrait of Prince. And not a terribly good one. I didn’t get his comment right; it turns out it takes a lot of effort to appear as awkward as Prince does on Instagram. My portrait of him feels about as successful as that dead-eyed painting of the Duchess of Cambridge a while back.
But that was secondary to its presence in the staid context of the National Portrait Gallery competition, where I imagined it sitting, waiting, like an IED of WTF, to blow up the ideas of portraiture and reality. I kept totally silent about the entry for seven months, because I liked the idea of Jerry stumbling across it in a weary jury slideshow and being momentarily entertained by it way more than I liked the idea of kiss-ass campaigning.
Which wouldn’t help anyway. The nested art world personalities are too insidery, and the references are so contorted, and the text so clumsy, that I didn’t think anyone besides Jerry would ever care about it, and even he was iffy. If he grabbed onto it, great, but I never imagined it would get past that first shock or bemusement in the competition. Maybe a whoopie cushion is a better analogy than an IED.
And sure enough, my rejection notice came today. Whatever reaction he had, I don’t know–there were 2,500+ entries, so maybe he didn’t even see it after all–but I found the months of secret possibility to be quite satisfying. This image has done its job. And the world is a better place without a 4×6 foot canvas version of it in it.
Or maybe…if I print it up and light it on fire, Richard Prince will start following me on Twitter again…
View Source: Richard Prince’s Instagram Portraits
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016 [portraitcompetition.si.edu]

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