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

 ... 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. 
 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. 
 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... 
 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. 
 We do not make art. We have unnamable motors and dangerous impulses that occupy our thoughts. 
 Advertising images aren’t associated with an author. It’s as if their presence were complete—classical in fact. They are too good to be true. They look like they have no history to them—like they showed up all at once. They look like what art always wants to look like. 
 A lot of it’s experimental, spontaneous. It’s about knocking about in the studio and bumping into things. 
 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. 
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