• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1999

    Post -War And Contemporary Art Afternoon Session

    14 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 415

    RICHARD PRINCE (B. 1949)

    Untitled (Publicity)

    Price Realised  

    RICHARD PRINCE (B. 1949)
    Untitled (Publicity)
    signed and dated 'R Prince 2000' (on the backing board)
    three publicity photographs and one Richard Prince photograph
    33 x 41 in. (83.8 x 104.1 cm.)
    Executed in 2000. (3)


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    Untitled (Publicity) is the visual embodiment of the middle-American dream. Helena Antonaccio's Playboy publicity shots reveal a Marilyn Monroe-like sensuality flavored with just the right dose of girl-next-door appeal. Her gaze is welcoming and inviting to the viewer to suggest that she is accessible and within reach for the low price of a Playboy magazine.

    "Collectively Prince's Publicities comprise a catalogue of desire that fuses his own history with a broad sweep of popular imagery. Produced against the depressed, rural backdrop of Rensselaerville-where even the lowliest of trailer homes may have a satellite dish-this body of work is unexpectedly poignant in its embodiment of longing. It may look like Kitsch, but the Publicities series begins to get at what Prince means by the term 'Spiritual America.' The reference dates back to his notorious appropriation of a startlingly ambiguous image of a ten-year-old Brooke Shields by commercial photographer Gary Gross. Spiritual America addresses that broad cultural yearning for something more-and how it is often expressed in the most tawdry, illicit mannerthe image has come to embody that strangely motivating desire on the part of the viewer to know, to have, and even to be the person in the frame. In this way the photograph morphs into one of Prince's Publicities. All it needs is an autograph to complete the cycle.
    The same fetishistic identification with the subject that forms the core of the Publicities must be what motivates collectors of celebrity memorabilia, for whom nothing is too insignificant if touched by the hand of a star"
    Spector, N., Richard Prince, New York 2008, pp. 47 and 49.

    Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York


    Literature

    R. Brooks, J. Rian, eds., Richard Prince, New York, 2003 (illustrated, p. 141).


    Exhibited

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center; London, Serpentine Gallery, Richard Prince: Spiritual America, September 2007-Summber 2008 (illustrated).