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... 
 ... 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. 
 We do not make art. We have unnamable motors and dangerous impulses that occupy our thoughts. 
 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. 
 Is passion what we are? Is that what we are in pictures? Is what we are in pictures almost real? Maybe it’s become the “most” real thing. 
 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. 
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