Richard Prince, a prominent fixture of New York's photography scene, makes a rare appearance here in a show of photographs of photographs. That's right; Prince exemplifies the Post-Modernist attitude that everything has been done and all that's left for artists to do is to recycle, appropriate and comment upon the implications of such activity.
His photographs are mushy-surfaced or dot-patterned reruns of pictures of artists, rock stars and magazine glamour-pusses. While artist Jeff Koons--got up in two neckties, a vest and polka-dot shirt--looks rather vulnerable, most images depict the slick, impenetrable sort of models selected to sell products from the pages of fashion magazines. The re-photographing process removes them yet another step from reality and thrusts them into the depressing territory of disintegration through commerce.
Visually, these pictures offer little beyond their matter-of-fact existence. Message is all, and it's steeped in exhaustion and the futility of media overload. Just noting such pervasive developments was a perceptive move when Prince and others first emerged with their commentary. The problem with their stance is that once you've made the point, you can only rehash it and turn out variations that are every bit as predictable as tired still lifes. It's tough to fight overkill with more overkill. (Richard Kuhlenschmidt Gallery, 9000 Melrose Ave., to Feb. 16.)