Sunday, June 26, 2011
Richard Prince's "American Prayer"
The books he mostly collects are editions that were produced in 1949 to the year 1984. "1984" being one of his favorite novels, which was written in 1949, and by chance also the year of his birth. So this is a collection that defines Prince as an individual and an artist. This beautiful book has tons of book covers - but more importantly documents various titles. For instance he has every version of "On The Road" possible, but beyond that he has editions that are signed by Kerouac to various greats - William Burroughs, Ginsberg, Vidal, etc. And the fact that he somehow got these signed books is surely a man focused on the communication between the writer and his readers/friends. He also collects Jimi Hendrix letters - which as far as I know have never been published before - but that's fascinating.
But the meat and potato of his collection is 20th Century classics - and how those classics talk to him as an artist is really something. This has to be one of the great books on an artist and his muse - books. And the fact that we get some great excerpts is a plus as well. A book that can be in the art as well as in the literary criticism section. Love it.