A painting of a nurse by American artist Richard Prince recently sold for $6,466,500 at auction.
The painting, Nurse in Hollywood #4, was just one of 19 nurse paintings Prince created in the 2000s.
All are highly valued: Overseas Nurse sold for $8,467,258 in 2008.
The series was inspired by Prince’s massive collection of 1950s and 1960s pulp fiction books featuring naughty nurses.
The collection caused quite a stir during its original 2003 exhibition in New York. While nurses at the time fretted over the display (Slate magazine called Prince’s nursesÂ ” ciphers of femininity: accessible yet forbidden, wholesome yet on intimate terms with strangers’ bodily fluids”), The Truth About Nursing ultimately gave the show 3 out of 4 stars for its representation of nursing.
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH of The Truth About Nursing wrote, “Interesting is the fact that the white-clad female nurses in these paintings are effectively gagged…Trapped in their oppressive clothes and our oppressive attitudes, the pulp nurses may reflect the continuing plight of nurses, and women generally.
The blood spots on their bodies are stigmatas of caring…Though it’s unlikely Prince intended it, it’s possible to see this exhibition as a harsh but constructive critique of nursing’s invisibility and a call to action.”
What do you think of Prince’s paintings?