Artists are appealed by recuperation around 1980. Before the digital age, the world is already flooded with the lying photographs of the consumerism. The bypassing of these images, while challenging the copyright laws, becomes a new art that expresses the profound reality of the contemporary world. A rule made in 2013 is now case law : Prince does not copy the images, he transforms them.
He got a job wonderfully adapted to his desire : employee in the tear sheet department of Time magazine, he was paid to cut the pages for sending to the customer the legal evidence of the actual publication of the advertisement. The pitch is quickly taken : he will shear the magazines for his own art.
Prince does not know to photograph from nature but is skilled to copy documents from which he has carefully removed the texts. The result is weird : stripped of its wording, an ordinary picture becomes surrealist and expresses the profound imbalance in a society driven by the marketing.
From 1982 to 1984, Prince realizes his series Untitled (Fashion) with images of young women whose eyes were clogged in the original advertisement for whatever a fool idea of a marketing agent. The black and white prints are re-photographed by Prince on color film. The artist has already appreciated the incentive of large size and scarcity, and his editions are made from that early time in very small quantities.
The sale by Christie's in New York on May 10 includes two examples from this rare series.
Lot 3 B estimated $ 1.5M, Ektacolor 102 x 71 cm dated 1982 by the artist, is the artist's proof from an edition of only one other copy. Lot 4 B estimated $ 1 million is a unique Ektacolor 152 x 102 cm dated 1982-1984 and numbered 1/1 by the artist; this photo was sold for £ 740K including premium by Christie's on 30 June 2008.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Lot 3 B : $ 2.85M ; Lot 4 B : $ 2.4M