RICHARD PRINCE’S NEW FIGURES
By Naomi Barling
After reading an article in the New York Times Magazine about the great creative bloom in Soho, Richard Prince decided to move to New York. He arrived August, 1974 and spent the next few months in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn attending life drawing classes. Prince recalls, “I didn’t know anybody when I came to New York City. I was on my own and spent days where the only conversation I would have was with a bartender.”
His new exhibition called New Figures is showing at the Luxembourg & Dayan gallery from April 23, 2015 to June 06, 2015. The new works are inspired by vintage erotic photography of girls posing on black and white backgrounds. The drawings are juxtaposed with collaged images to create a new perspective on the human form. His ability to combine image and drawing reveal the artist’s great knowledge of composition and scale. The technical and artistic freedom he uses to create such unexpected art means he can use traditional techniques and still turn his images into something contemporary.
The artist uses pale colors and drawn lines combined with collaged shapes, which bear a resemblance to Picasso’s elegant lines and Matisse’s cut out collages. He emphasizes the gestures, expressions and emotion of his subjects following the principle of his Picasso series; he did however choose to use less drama, highlighting the subtle details in the image and leaving a softer result. Some of the girls are covered with drawn bodies while other have their arms or legs transformed into geometric or graphic attachments.
His adoptions of the classic still life drawing have brought a truly new outlook to this existing imagery. The artist skillfully makes the interventions appear completely natural, easy, and created with not much pondering or thought, leaving the images truly relatable to the public.