headlines | about |

April 29, 2005 (Richard Prince)


Richard Prince opened at Barbara Gladstone Gallery tonight with some old but mostly new work. Unlike the past few shows, which were consistant groups of similar work, this was almost a mini-retrospective not only of the work but of his themes and his obsessions through the years.

The result is creepy, made especially so by one work that has an audio loop of a whistled tune/toon that permeates everything else. He's managed to out creep the master Bruce Nauman.

Prince is obsessive about certain things -- think of that black toothbrush in his book Why I Go To The Movies Alone -- but he's more focused on them than "normal" people. He has perfected the visual vocabulary of a functioning schizophrenic. Cars, cowboys, biker chicks, dumb jokes, cartoons, movie stars all seem to create a linear narrative but then do a u-turn, really fast, in the middle of the road. It's a balancing act that pits the crazy artist against the savvy marketer -- a role Prince understood better than anyone early on.

While I was standing at the reception desk reading the press release a very fresh-faced young couple bought an older catalog of another exhibit (the one for this exhibit wasn't ready yet). The young woman paid then handed the book to the young man and gushed "happy birthday sweetheart" and gave him a big kiss. The biker chick and the cowboy...