riding shotgun with richard prince and mark rothko

With a quick glance, one can easily confuse this wonderful piece of art as a Mark Rothko.  Like Rothko’s immediately recognized canvasses, this is an expansive painting of banded rectangular blocks with a sensitive attention to color and proportion.  However, on longer and closer inspection, one realizes it CANNOT be a Rothko.  There is no feeling of spirituality to this work.  It is after all two pieces of fiberglass car hood bonded together and placed on a wooden frame.  And here is where the genius lies.  Rather than the immediate airy-fairy transcendence we subconsciously want to find in the work thinking it is a Rothko, Richard Prince projects a testosterone fuelled REALITY in the form of a cast engine car hood from a 1966 Camaro SS, painted to pristine perfection and ready to thunder away.

photo credit: © Richard Prince
Christie’s  New York (sale: 11 May 2011)
Lot 38
Richard Prince (b. 1949)
Pro Street
Fiberglass hood in two parts with Bondo, acrylic, flake paint and enamel mounted on wooden frame
Overall: 65.5/8 x 56.1/8 x 6.3/8 in (166.7 x 142.6 x 16.2 cm.)
Executed 1992-2002
Estimate: US$600,000 – 800,000