Two Palms is pleased to present Tell Me Everything, a new suite of 12 large scale silkscreens by Richard Prince. In a play on his now iconic joke paintings, Prince's new silkscreens feature images of the joke archives of Milton Berle, the seminal American comedian whose career spanned more than 80 years.
Prince has made a career of investigating the cherished icons of mainstream media and the outsider aesthetic of subcultural margins, utilizing them to weave a compelling anatomy of the American psyche. For decades, joke telling was not only a pillar of American entertainment, but also a mode of communication; jokes traveled throughout a community, their subject matter indicative of current events, politics and pop culture. Milton Berle, one of the most popular comedians of the 20th century, documented jokes on notecards which he organized by subject in file drawers. In chronicling those very catalogs, Tell Me Everything offers the viewer a window into the pathos of everyday American life, seen through the anti-elitist lens of the joke.
If you think anything is original, you're kidding yourself. The art is in the continuation, the accretion of meanings to familiar images with passage of time and the onward march of technology. Just as "war is the continutation of politics by other means" - per Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz - continuation is the persistence of art by other means. Prince just nudges what's out there until you see what he sees. But it was hiding in plain sight.
- Robert M. Rubin