Richard Prince on Miroslav Tichy
The most Pop Culture references to ever be squeezed in to one essay.
The following essay on the photographer Miroslav Tichý, who died last week, is excerpted from Richard Prince: Collected Writings, a compilation edited by Kristine McKenna with an essay by Jonathan Lethem, to be published by Foggy Notion Books in September.
I came across Tichý’s work in a book I found in a store on Bond St. in NYC, two three years ago. At first I didn’t know what I was looking at. I didn’t know if I was looking at photos that had been thrown on the floor and walked on by their taker, and scratched and gnawed and peed on by the taker’s cat. Jeez, they looked abandoned, found filed away, discovered torn and washed up, rejected, dismissed, folded and cornered like they were used to level the leg of a wobbly table. I didn’t have time to read the introduction, and didn’t see the portrait of the author of these “terrible” photographs. I bought the book and put it in the bag with other photo books I bought that day. Books by Ed Templeton, Terry Richardson, Dash Snow, Peter Sutherland, Ryan McGinley, and Roe Ethridge. I figured I’d get around to looking at them more in a month, and had the bag of books sent upstate to my library in Neon, New York. Twelve months later I finally opened the bag and “discovered” Tichý. I had a revelation, baby. I thought a young guy had taken old photos. I should have answered my own question…DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? The answer was, and always will be, no.
The book is in my lap and I’m comfortable in my chair. I have some time and I can start at the beginning.
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