Silk Cut smokes, high-end pens and watches, jewelry dangling into cleavage, the Marlboro Man, the very young Brooke Shields in that movie still, bare-chested blondes on bikes- this is the stuff of Richard Prince's photographs.
Sexist jokes, Playboy magazine cartoons, and grafittied doodles are the stuff of his paintings.
Or rather, all of these icons of mass culture are the materials that Prince recycles and processes in order to make his own artworks.
Re-photographed, fragmented, layered, and copied down, their original format irreversibly if subtly altered, they are transformed into works of high art.
By appropriating a reality artificially staged by the media, Prince assesses and catalogues everyday life in America through the cool gaze of an archivist.
At the same time, he returns a piece of life to these much abused types: the Marlboro Man rides across the prairie free of consumerist underpinnings.
Conceived of and designed by the artist himself, this large-format, two volume publication is the most ambitious presentation of Prince's work to date.
One book is devoted to paintings, the other to photographs, and an accompanying booklet offers a radical essay by Bruce Hainley as well as a complete biography and selected bibliography.