Widely regarded as the enfant terrible of the contemporary art world, Richard Prince has been pushing the limits of artistic appropriation since beginning his career in New York in the early 1970s. From his earliest ‘Cowboys’ in the 1980s, which were rephotographed Marlboro cigarette ads, and his iconic Nurse paintings, a body of work inspired by the covers of inexpensive novels sold at newspaper stands, to his de Kooning series, which grew out of the artist manipulating an LA MOCA de Kooning exhibition catalogue, and his infamous 2015 ‘Instagram’ portraits, where Prince extracted visuals from public instagram accounts, printing largscale screenshots of other’s photos after adding his own, Instagram-style comments; the commonality linking Richard Prince’s vastly diverse body of work lies in the artist’s continuous use of appropriation as a central creative technique.
Prince is back to his old ways in his latest show High Times, in which the artist samples and manipulates past work of his own creation. High Times, is in essence, a show two decades in the making. In 1998, Prince produced a body of work called the ‘Hippie Drawings,’ a series of colorful sketches based on what he envisioned a hippie would draw. While the artist’s Hippie Drawings were never shown in a traditional gallery setting, the artist released a book of the images titled ‘Hanging Around,’ and fans took notice. High Times Magazine called on Richard asking if he could give 5 hippie drawings for them to use on 5 different covers celebrating the publication’s twenty-fifth anniversary, while famed rapper Q-Tip asked Richard to illustrate the cover of the latest Tribe Called Quest album, the group’s first release in 18 years, specifically requesting a hippie drawing.
In 2017, Prince began making prints of his original hippie work, this time, appropriating imagery he, himself produced. After Twenty years, Ricahrd is making his old work new again, with the help of modern day technology and an at home, inkjet printer. ‘Jetting’, as he refers to it, is ideal for change and manipulation - you can print, scale, move, collage, paint over images and then re-print an entirely new work. 'High Times' is the creative genesis of over four decades of work and practice, a must see exhibition for art lovers looking for a visually stimulating escape.