Richard Prince: Nurse Paintings

Richard Prince’s famous series of paintings of white-uniformed nurses based on the covers of pulp-fiction paperbacks from the ’50s and ’60s. are a favorite of many. An ardent bibliophile, Prince has amassed an impressive collection of naughty-nurse literature, including such classic titles as Surfing Nurse, Man-Crazy Nurse, Registered Nurse, Park Avenue Nurse, Washington Nurse, Tender Nurse, and Nympho Nurse. To make the paintings, he transferred the book covers onto canvas, often manipulating them in the process—changing the colors or format or matching a nurse from one cover with the title from another. He then slathered the canvases with layers of drippy paint in lurid, sunset hues like magenta, wine red, and deep purple. With their faces obscured by white surgical masks that both reveal and obscure their red-lipsticked mouths below—like displaced lingerie—Prince’s nurses are ciphers of femininity: accessible yet forbidden, wholesome yet on intimate terms with strangers’ bodily fluids.

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Categorized: Paintings

2 comments on “Richard Prince: Nurse Paintings

  1. Pingback: The Free Agency » Lesbian Pulp Fiction: 1935-1958

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