Where’s the Controversy in Richard Prince’s New Show?


The Upper East Side location of The Gagosian Gallery put up a series of new Richard Prince paintings this month known as the Tiffany Paintings. Those who still subscribe to the paper edition of the New York Times will be familiar with Prince’s subject — the ads for Tiffany jewelry which have run faithfully in the same corner of the same page of the paper for decades.

The paintings are six-foot-tall ink-jet collages, which have been enlarged and pasted on canvas, and then painted over with dreamy pastels. The layer of paint on top of the newspaper clippings forces us to consider how we interpret media, advertising, and current events. Do we accept mass media at face value, or do we view the world through colored glasses?

Prince has always used “found objects” in his art — here, the newspaper clippings. In the past, Prince’s use of found objects has raised questions of authenticity and ownership that have caused decades of controversy. If you continue past the Tiffany Paintings, you’ll also see the works that made Richard Prince famous: his controversial photographs of the classic Marlboro ads featuring suntanned cowboys in the wild Wild West; a sampling of his framed signed-checks-from-celebrities series; one of his bizarre painted car hoods.

Click through below to preview a selection of works from the show, which is up through June 19th.