Richard Prince (b. 1949) has been provoking and
polarising ever since the start of his artistic career
in the late 1970s. The New York-based artist draws
unconstrainedly upon the visual material produced
by the entertainment industry, advertising, and
mass and social media, and appropriates it in his
works. In doing so, he aligns himself behind artists
such as Andy Warhol and pushes the act of appropriation to the limits of authorship.
In the large-format photographic work Untitled
(Head) from 1982–84, Prince reconstructs a
fragmented face via the arrangement of an eye,
nose and mouth. Their pronounced division is
underscored by the fact that each facial detail is
shown only as a reflection in a compact mirror.
The photographs, which prompt associations with
conventional cosmetic advertising, are ascribed a
new character by their deliberate positioning and
by their isolation from the purpose for which they
were originally intended.