'A mix into the medicine': Richard Prince on Collier Schorr's 8 Women

Love You Long Time.

Collier Schorr
That’s what she told me.


No she said...no deadline.
She explained she needed me to write something right away.
“Think of it as sliding into home”.
I’ve known Collier long time.
Met her in 1986. She showed up at 303 Gallery where I was living... when it was on 303 Park Ave. South. Not sure why she showed up. Said she wanted to work for me. Work for the gallery. She never really did much work for me. I hadn’t ever had an assistant... and didn’t really need one so I think she ended up hanging around Lisa Spellman who ran 303.

In the late eighties she sublet my apartment on 12th and Ave. A. The only thing hanging in the apartment at the time was the original print of Spiritual America... the one that I showed in 1983 on Rivington St. It was still in its “gold” frame with the museum light attached to the top of the frame. A small 8x10 print with a lot of matt board around it. It was hanging in the “railroad” part of the apartment. She would talk to me about living with the image... how it was the perfect image for her to live with at that time... that it became for her a kind of religious icon or something otherworldly, an image that was hard to define because of its man-boy-women-girl beauty.

She introduces me to Daphne Fitzpatrick. I assumed Daphne was her girlfriend but she wasn’t. Daphne ends up being my first assistant.
By that time I’d split from 303 and Lisa and was living in a loft on Reade St.
I’m making joke paintings and start to work on “hood” paintings. Sending away for the car part from the back of car magazines and getting them in the mail. “Sent away for”.
She tells me her father use to write for Muscle Car magazine. And that he was the test driver for the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX. “Wrote the book on the car”.
Really? Your father? You’re kidding?
When were you going to tell me that?
Collier’s father sends me a leather bound book that customers would receive if and when they bought one of the limited GNXs. (Buick produced 504 of these “bad to the bone” muscle cars. It wouldn’t be until very recently, last year actually, that I would finally find one in Colorado and hand over some serious scratch for one of these bad boys).

8 Women
I’m looking at the PDF right now and Collier’s e-mailing me about what I think.
I told you what I think.
I told you last month when you first sent it to me.
It’s great. It’s beautiful. It’s the best book I’ve seen you do.
It’s all there. All you’ve been working on since I’ve known you.
I love the drawings and how they interrupt the photographs of men and women.
That image of the girl putting on her sock... how the toe of the riding boot bleeds into the opposite page... excellent.
And then I turn the to the next page and there’s the first “nude” in color. A woman. A girl. Small breasts. Buzzed hair. But it’s the amount of eye shadow under her eyes that’s the hook.
Next page?
Man? Boy? Male torso with some kind of collage pasted onto his cock. (Into his cock might be a better description). Juxtaposition is starting to cook. Something you can do only in a photobook. Already you’ve got the texture of pencil and black and white and color and simple hand-made cut-up images and I’m not even half-half way thru.Next image. Found?
Not sure.
Does it matter?

No.She’s a face... the image. The image is a face. A face that could be out of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. That’s what it suggests. That’s what it imagines. But I really don’t know where it came from or who she is or if Collier does or doesn’t know her. All I know is that it adds...
More texture.

More subtext.
An added attraction.
More ingredients.
A mix into the medicine.
The image is just more of what’s out there. And it’s this “more of what’s out there” that we’re all trying to handle. (Whether we like it or not).

So like I told you. (I’m speaking directly to her)...You’ve got everything. It’s kind of like your book is a new 8-track photograph.

Richard Price on Collier Schorr’s 8 Women, from 8 Women by Collier Schorr, published in April 2014.

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