Can an artist simultaneously celebrate and critique pop culture? Those familiar with the incredibly varied work of Richard Prince have seen appropriation, pop culture, and cultural criticism battle it out over the span of his 30-year career. His medium of expression varies greatly, from recreating photography, paintings, reprints of comics, and even collecting clay auto-body molds. The duality of his work is evident in his 1980s photographic recreations of the Marlboro advertising campaign, which celebrates the iconic image of the cowboy and Western landscape, while drawing attention to the hypocrisy that such an image would be used to advertise an addictive, unhealthy vice. His Nurses, inspired by the covers of pulp-fiction hospital romance novel covers, are both alluring and unsettling. Also, regardless of where his aesthetic inspiration takes him, each series of work explores concepts of artistic ownership, as he recreates and sometimes simply reprints photography, imitating iconic corporate symbols, or reprinting text or quotes from writers. Prince forces the viewer to reconsider context, drawing attention to the irony of pop culture, while bringing what is normally left unsaid to the forefront. After Hours Preview Party features food, film screenings of Rendezvous and The Honeymoon Killers, a text-based art activity, and music by Skoal Kodiak for $35 from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, March 21.
March 22-June 15, 2008