Press Release

Proceeds support PAC founded to transform cultural influence into political power

New York, NY (APRIL 19, 2018) – Downtown for Democracy, the culture Super PAC, is pleased to announce a new project by artist Richard Prince. 18 & Stormy is a suite of work created by Prince exclusively for Downtown for Democracy. The work is based on a composite image constructed of photographs of the eighteen women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, plus Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress paid $130,000 for her silence by Donald Trump’s personal attorney shortly before the 2016 Presidential Election.

The work draws on the history of composite photography, including Ludwig Wittgenstein, the influential Austrian-British philosopher who first experimented with composite photography in the 1920’s, and anthropologist Francis Galton, who conducted composite photography experiments in the Victorian era. Galton created composites to show sharp overlapping images to produce evidence of genetic similarities. Wittgenstein used the technique for the opposite effect, with a fascination in the resulting photo’s fuzziness, to reveal “the manner of all possibilities.” Wittgenstein said “what one sees in the blink if you keep your eyes open you will see things move and change, nature as a dynamic event, and it is this constant changing that creates fuzziness on one hand but clarity on the other, because if you only glimpse then you exclude all other aspects, you have no greater clarity, you are blinkered.”

While each of these women have interacted with Donald Trump, many involuntarily, rather than diminishing or conflating the very different experiences these nineteen have lived, or searching for familial or facial resemblance as in Galton’s experiments, we search for another commonality. Instead, 18 & Stormy highlights a different connecting thread, and the clarity emerging from the fuzziness of the image is what each of these women implore: exposing the truth about their experiences with Donald Trump.

Prince’s composite image appears on a series of work, including a 33” x 26.4” poster  in an edition of 400 for $100; a limited edition of 100 DVD sticker posters, signed and dated, for $500; plus an inkjet on canvas, 60” x 48”, in an edition of 2 with 1 artist proof. Prince previously worked with composite photography in the 2013 edition Untitled Girlfriend (Jerry’s Girl), a composite image of all 57 girlfriends of Jerry Seinfeld's character that appeared onscreen in the television series Seinfeld. Prince previously contributed to Downtown for Democracy’s first event in 2003.

The work will debut on April 30 at an event at Karma Books in New York, at 136 East 3rd Street. This edition, along with other Downtown for Democracy artist editions, will be shown at Frieze, NY, May 3-6.  Since 2017, artists who have created original artworks, limited editions or merchandise for Downtown for Democracy include Katherine Bernhardt, Mel Bochner, Cecily Brown, Jonathan Horowitz, Marlene McCarty, Marilyn Minter, Arlene Shechet, and Guy Richards Smit. Upcoming artist editions include Paul Chan, Rashid Johnson, and Laura Owens.

All of the proceeds from the sale of this work will go to Downtown for Democracy to fund grassroots voter education and registration efforts, particularly in swing districts in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. Downtown for Democracy aspires to motivate activism through image, word, music, and all other forms of creativity. It seeks to remind fellow citizens of ideals that bind us as a nation: liberty and equality. We believe that now is the time to unite and fight, to protect the idealism of our country’s beginnings and to elect politicians who will resolutely do the same.

Downtown for Democracy uses creative capital, raising funds that will be spent in key congressional districts to get out the progressive vote in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Founded in 2003 as a cultural PAC, Downtown for Democracy participated in several election cycles, and was revived in 2017 after a hiatus.

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