In the 1980s Richard Prince exhibited his Cowboys in which he rephotographed Marlboro cigarette ads, cropping out all text and framing them like fine art. His work questions what makes the originality of an artwork and pushed the boundaries of appropriation.
In this POST, Prince shares his most famous one, from 1989, which sold for $1.3M in 2008. He declared “Every week, I’d see (an advertising) and be like, ‘Oh, that’s mine. Thank you.”
His art dealer Barbara Gladstone who was key in his success highlights how he made a copy of a copy of a myth. The comment of the writer Marvin Heiferman is based on an interview published in Bomb Magazine in 1988 where he stated Prince’s works “were pictures but didn’t look like pictures. They’re not factual, not quite fantasy. But they have, as you call it, a “look.” And if you give the “look” enough attention, it seems to approach the sublime.”
Richard's cow boy, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)