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Glenn O'Brien interviews Richard Prince

I went out to California right after high school, and that’s when I first did acid, right on Sunset Strip. I was a completely clueless teenager. Drop out, tune in, turn on.Richard Prince

In the spirit of full disclosure, yes, I am good friends with Richard Prince, and, no, he never gave me more than four strokes a side. Actually we became friends quickly because in the ’80s there weren’t too many congenial bohemians a guy could play a round of golf with. We belonged to the same club once, Hampton Hills, on Long Island, and I remember the day we were on the first green putting when a guy came zooming up to us in a golf cart and said that Richard couldn’t play in the black, paint-splattered jeans he was wearing. Richard offered to take them off, but that wasn’t legal either, so he went all the way back to the clubhouse, bought a pair of shorts, put them on, came back to the green on the long par four, and sank the putt for a birdie. Years later we were sitting by Richard’s pool in Bridgehampton, New York, watching a huge plume of smoke rise from the Central Pine Barrens, where thousands of acres were aflame, and we both said at once: “I hope Hampton Hills is on fire.”Today Mr. Prince plays at the Bridge in Bridgehampton, where he has curated the great contemporary art collection in the clubhouse. Until recently, he was club champion. I remember we were walking up a fairway there when he told me a secret: that he was collaborating with Marc Jacobs. “If this works,” he said, “I can retire.” That’s one of his jokes that won’t wind up on a painting. Some people, like him, could never retire. Sometimes I sense he thinks that the art is getting in the way of the golf and the beach, but, hey, a guy has to make a living. He’s making a living, all right. In the last decade the world has discovered what his foursome knew all along: In golf, he’s good; in art, he’s a grand master. For a while he held the record for the highest amount ever paid for a photograph-for his photograph; he wasn’t the buyer. I have to point that out because, among other things, Richard Prince is a fierce collector. If you said that he has elevated collecting to an art form, you would be accurate. You can see it in the galleries, in his plinths of stacked first editions arranged to create a certain esoteric resonance. If you know him you may have seen it in his extraordinary personal library, the building where much of his collection of books, manuscripts, art, and ephemera is housed. Like Andy Warhol, Richard Prince loves art so much he not only makes it, he buys it too. I interviewed Richard at Gagosian Gallery in downtown New York, where he showed me his new Rasta paintings. (With his Massachusetts accent, Rasta ends in r.) Richard said it was the first time he’d set foot in the gallery. Was he kidding? You got me. Sometimes you don’t know. While we were talking, his friend Leonardo DiCaprio showed up and also got his two cents in here along with a sandwich...

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