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. 
 We do not make art. We have unnamable motors and dangerous impulses that occupy our thoughts. 
 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... 
 I got a job in the tear-sheets department, ripping up magazines like People, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Time, and delivering the editorial pages.... So I began to use a camera to make fake photographs of the ads. By re-photographing a magazine page and then developing the film in a cheap lab, the photos came out very strange. 
 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. 
 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. 
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