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Richard Prince, “Untitled (Black Bra)”, 2024

Richard Prince

Untitled (Black Bra) (2024)

Richard Prince began appropriating fragments of contemporary visual culture at the end of the 1970s and, closely linked to the Pictures Generation, he has drawn from diverse contexts and created a multilayered oeuvre held together above all by appropriation as an artistic method. By borrowing imagery from advertising, pop culture, or other artists and making it into an element of his own work, Prince questions the mechanisms and protocols of the socioeconomic systems from which his material originated. For his third TEXTE ZUR KUNST edition, Prince has chosen one of his “Black Bra” works, which consists of underwear on canvas – or rather, of canvas wearing lingerie. The motif of the black bra has been a recurring one for Prince recently, including in his latest series of Instagram screenshots, the “New Portraits,” which show lightly clad influencers painting while shirtless, stripped down to their lingerie. Prince’s series highlights the “Rückenfigur” as a particularly popular pose for presenting oneself effectively on social media. Each image of the “New Portraits” is accompanied by comments – a mix of (auto)biographical and art historical notes that form an essential component of the work – posted by Joan Katz (handle joankatzz), with whom Prince supposedly founded a band called Black Bra in 1990. “Supposedly” because he subverts principles such as authorship and originality not only by appropriating visuals but also by playing with identities and myths, which are just as fundamental to fame in art and pop culture as iconic images. The motif of the edition “Untitled (Black Bra)” also adorns the cover of Prince’s artist’s book “New Paintings,” dedicated to the “New Portraits” and released by the artist’s Fulton Ryder imprint.