“A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says ‘you’re crazy’. So the man says, ‘I want a second opinion’. ‘OK, you’re ugly too’.”

This is the text found on one of Richard Prince’s paintings. Prince has painted a lot of jokes, hundreds and hundreds of jokes. The question, of course, is why.

It is surely not for the reasons most often attributed to Mr. Prince by his commentators in the art world. In general, those in the art world who actually like Richard Prince tend to consider him something of a turd polisher. Prince goes out into the America beyond the boundaries of the two sides of Central Park and the two Villages and brings back fascinating and disturbing material. As Lisa Dennison, the Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which is currently exhibiting a major retrospective of Prince’s work, puts it: “Prince has continued to be one… More…