RICHARD PRINCE MORPHS 57 OF JERRY SEINFELD’S GIRLFRIENDS TOGETHER FOR CONCEPTUAL ART PIECE
On the heels of his current smash show of softball cowboy art at Gagosian Gallery in LA, New York-based artist Richard Prince shows his sense of humor is still more than intact with a new art project that morphs all 57 of Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriends who appeared throughout the course of the show’s run—from Mulva to “Man Hands”—in a conceptual piece of art called “Jerry’s Girl.” And to prove that he’s at least as up to date with the kids as Stephen Colbert, Prince released first news of the artwork via social media when he posted it on Twitter a few weeks back dispelling forever the notion that crusty old New Yorkers can’t learn how to use “computer stuff.” Luckily, the release of the work was accompanied by a brilliantly obtuse rambling narration in the artist’s own hand, which reads like an extended version of one of his infamous “Joke” paintings:
“I recently posted a composite picture [on Twitter] of what Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend would look like if you took all of his girlfriends and put them thru a computer program called “photo-mil”. (I domained the name). Turns out Jerry had 57 girlfriends over the course of his show. I love the show and watch it whenever I can and the thought occurred to me after watching one of his “girls” walk out on him… man, Jerry’s had a lot of girlfriends.
Anyway… I started googling them and found 57. I downloaded them and printed each one out on an 8X10″ photograph. I took the photos to my edition guy… David Lazery at Two Palms Press and explained my idea. That’s all it was. An idea, a pitch… stabbing air. A visual form of Birdtalk.
Last week I went by Two Palms and there it was. A single photo of all 57 girlfriends. It was printed on a large piece of paper and tacked to the wall. It’s effect looked like a cross between a Richter and a Ruff. Lee Remick vs. Mia Farrow. (Before the Rosemary’s Baby haircut). There’s even a little Christie Brinkley ‘sewn’ in there. And don’t rule out elements of The Stepford Wives, Village of the Damn and Valley of the Dolls. Perhaps nothing overtly visual but certainly the vibe of those classic matinees provide a second helping. I immediately liked its generic look. It was unintentionally dreamy. Non-threatning. “Where have I seen this face before” came to mind. Gene Tierney in Laura?
We talked about the edition number. (57 of course). And what to call it. Untitled (girlfriend) or Jerry’s Girl are currently our choices.
I also threw out the idea of selling “Jerry’s Girl” to raise money for a charity.
The deal would be that we would sell 57 raffle tickets, each ticket with a different girl on it for say 25k each, and then make one of those wheel of fortune contraptions and put all 57 girls on the wheel and get some kind of Vanna White look-a-like to spin the wheel and where ever the wheel would stop after it stopped clicking… whoever had bought that particular “girlfriend”… would get a huge unique free print. (Outside the edition). We’re still talking.
So what can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
One thing you can do now, is go home and “post” your “birdtalk”… get it out there and “test” it. (Can you pass the acid test?!) Kind of like how they use to put out hit records at the Brill Building back in the late fifties. (The Brill building was and still is located on Broadway around 59th St. In the building, they would write it, record it, press it in wax (in the basement) and get the record out to a radio dj that night. By the morning, they’d know if it was a hit or not).
So that’s what I did. I posted the composite of all 57 of Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriends on Friday. (My wife said I was an idiot. I told her, “look, I’m not a genius but I do have unusual feeling”. More birdtalk).
In the short time that I’ve been posting, “Jerry’s Girl” has had the most responses, comebacks, “favorites”, retweets, of anything that I’ve sent out. What does that mean? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. (Popularity isn’t something that I’ve ever wanted to marry into. I don’t have to say that “recognition” has its dark sides). Part of me likes to think that maybe I’ve got a Neal Sedaka/Carol King monster on my hands. That maybe I’ll be part of the hit parade. “Entertainment Tonight just called and they’re asking you for an interview”. (My response? Tell them to go fuck the horse they rode in on). Perhaps I should reconsider the title and call it “Release The Hounds”. But most of me says that Jerry’s Girl is just more “cool shit”. Part of the 90%. Part of my wife’s “idiocy” rant. And of course I know she’s right. It has the stupid dumb failure equation written all over it. I can just hear her in the background…”Hey I know you like stupid shit but that’s just what it is, (rimshot)… stupid BIRDSHIT”.
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