Richard Prince
[Artist, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, lives in New York.]

 The problem with art is, it’s not like the game of golf where you put the ball in the hole. There’s no umpire; there’s no judge. There are no rules. It’s one of its problems. But it’s also one of the great things about art. It becomes a question of what lasts. 
 I wish I had met [Francesca] Woodman forty years ago. It would have been great to live with her for a year. She didn’t save anything. She played the camera like a new guitar. She murdered herself out taking pictures... 
 We do not make art. We have unnamable motors and dangerous impulses that occupy our thoughts. 
 What I find is that the taking, the stealing, the appropriation of images has to do with prior availability, and it sets up a degree where things can be shared... It’s like 50% off... You can let something of another emotion or another personality sign on your work, or co-sign it. 
 ... maybe re-photographing a picture is like fucking a picture. There is something sexual about standing behind a camera and staring at another picture. It’s hard to explain. It’s like you’ve captured it. Even before you’ve taken it. Before you press the shutter. 
 If a picture was once worth a thousand words, one square inch of an image is now worth 360,000 bytes of computer storage space. 
 There was a point where I noticed that things had changed in the Marlboro ad. They got rid of the famous guy, a certain model who used to be in all the ads. They took him out and started using other people. That’s when I went after it. That’s when I stole it.... This was a famous campaign. If you’re going to steal something, you know, you go to the bank. 
 I’ve never felt that I had to put out work that I actually liked… just because it’s out there doesn’t mean that I have to stand behind it. 
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