Monday, June 26, 2017

Photographer Re-photographed Images Sourced from Biker Magazines, to Which Bikers Had Sent Photographs of Their Girlfriends to be Published

Richard Prince was born in Panama in 1949. He began consolidating his style during the early 1970s, when he began working with photography and found advertising images. He became known for these appropriated works, in which re-photographed and cropped advertisements are displayed on their own or in groups to emphasize the subtle, yet powerful impact of mass media images in shaping contemporary consumer culture. Over time, Prince continued to use appropriated imagery, particularly humorous cartoons and mismatched jokes, that he copied onto large, monochrome canvases.

Beginning in 1992, Prince created Girlfriends, a series of images sourced from biker magazines, to which bikers had sent photographs of their girlfriends to be published. The magazines invite their readers to submit photographs of their possessions, their girlfriends are invariably pictured as an accessory – not on the level of the bike itself, of course, but perhaps comparable to its custom spokes or its fitted cowhide saddle. The women are standing; often they are shown reclining along the length of the machine, or draped over it like an animal skin. They are usually semi-nude, and such parts as are clothed are encased in skintight leather or denim. The poses are always stiffer than the photograph appears to realize. Their expressions tend to be fixed. Professional models can stimulate delight or arousal, but these women can only turn in feeble imitations, reproducing such emotions at one or two removes.

In reference to this series, Prince said, "I like the idea of trying to present work that’s factual, that’s based in reality, even though it’s still somewhat unbelievable. I don’t particularly like to make things up and I don’t particularly like to get too creative.”














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