Richard Prince U.S.A, b. 1949


"The problem with art is, it's not like the game of golf where you put the ball in the hole. There's no umpire; there's no judge. There are no rules. It's one of its problems. But it's also one of the great things about art. It becomes a question of what lasts"

-Richard Prince

Richard Prince is an American artist best known for his use of appropriated imagery. Prince uses photographs taken from consumer culture-advertising, entertainment, and social media-to probe ideas around authenticity and ownership with his controversial practice sparking debates concerning copyright, intellectual property, and theft within the art world.


Born on August 6, 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone (now the Republic of Panama) where his parents worked for the United States Office of Strategic Services, Prince moved to New York in 1973. While working at Time Inc. (then Time-Life), he began to photograph pages of advertising and identify typologies and recurring archetypes. His famous series Cowboys (1980-1992, ongoing) was pulled from Marlboro cigarette ads, while his popular set of Nurse Paintings (2003) drew from covers of pulp novels.


In 2014, the artist once again established his ability to provoke controversy over issues of ownership and content, this time with Instagram. Prince's New Portraits series consisted of blown up screenshots culled from selfies taken by young men and women on the social app. His works are currently held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Goetz Collection in Munich, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others. Prince currently lives and works in upstate New York.



Exhibition highlights include The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1993); "Fotos, Schilderijen, Objecten," Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1993); Haus der Kunst / Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich (1996); Museum Haus Lange / Museum Haus Esters, Germany (1997); "4x4," MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Vienna (2000); "Upstate," MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Schindler House, Los Angeles (2000); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2001, traveled to Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland; and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany); "American Dream, Collecting Richard Prince for 27 Years," Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2004); "Canaries in the Coal Mine," Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2006); "The Early Works," Neuberger Museum of Art, New York (2007); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007, traveled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Serpentine Gallery, London, through 2008); "American Prayer," Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (2011); "Prince/Picasso," Picasso Museum, Spain (2012); and "It's a Free Concert," Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2014). Prince's works are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts Collection, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Selected Artworks

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