"Jokes and cartoons are part of any mainstream magazine. Especially magazines like the New Yorker or Playboy. They're right up there with the editorial and advertisements and table of contents and letters to the editors. They're part of the layout, part of the "sights" and "gags." Sometimes they're political, sometimes they just make fun of everyday life. Once in awhile they drive people to protest and storm foreign embassies and kill people."
American artist Richard Prince recycles found materials from American popular culture, most often images from advertisement and magazine photography which he re-photographs, silkscreens, overpaints, frames, enlarges, or arranges in collages, playing with their somehow empty meaning. Citation, deflection, appropriation: any possible treatment of these clichés is explored and played with. Among these works, jokes and cartoons occupy an important place in his work.
Conceived by the artist, this book gathers together the raw material to his "Joke Paintings" for the first time: unpublished manuscripts, well-known as well as unshown works from his personal collection, cartoons, and jokes. The project comments as much on the perception of his own work through the filter of a devaluated form of humor, as on the popular material appropriated through it.
Published in the Ringier Collection Artists' Books series.