Above Image – A Piece from Princes’ ‘Joke’ series, 1986. Image Source.
American Painter and Photographer, Richard Prince (born 1949), has influenced me with his ‘joke paintings’. These works pictured above and below, have really intrigued me, in how Prince has placed text in a cloudy pastel background. The text sets really well on the canvas and has a great contrast to the dreamlike effect he has placed behind it. This combination of text and imagery is similar to what I want to achieve in my works, but I want them to be seen as one; With Richard Princes’ pieces, it does feel like a background to the text – but it still works well, the texture isn’t all lost.
I think it’s really interesting how he’s changed how the text would normally be presented, because of the barrier of the canvas. It’s odd how he’s let the canvas change his text, but at the same time carried on the continuous line of text despite the restriction.
Something I can relate to with Prince, is how he tests words before making the finished piece. As you can see below, Prince writes out his text/jokes onto paper first. I have used this technique in my book of musings; I found testing the text and seeing it plainly first, makes your choices more appropriate. It shows that your choice of text was thoughtfully chosen, and you see something stand out in the word, when it appears so plainly.
Richard Prince – http://www.richardprince.com/