American artist Richard Prince recycles found materials from American popular culture, most often images from advertisement and magazine photography which he re-photographs, silkscreens, overpaints, frames, enlarges, or arranges in collages, playing with their somehow empty meaning. Citation, deflection, appropriation: any possible treatment of these clichés is explored and played with. Among these works, jokes and cartoons occupy an important place in his work.
Conceived by the artist, this book gathers together the raw material to his Joke Paintings for the first time: unpublished manuscripts, well-known as well as un-shown works from his personal collection, cartoons, and jokes. The project comments as much on the perception of his own work through the filter of a devaluated form of humour, as on the popular material appropriated through it.