In light of the recent Richard Prince retrospective Spiritual America at the Guggenheim, I thought I would share one of my favorite of Prince's images. His series of Marlboro Man photographs, culled from original Marlboro advertisments, challenge the cultural iconography surrounding what is defined as "truly American." These images also work on another interesting level. By appropriating imagery that is deliberately fictional to begin with and then furthering altering their composition, Prince confronts the ambiguous nature of photographic authorship in an age of rampant apropriation and reproduction.
Untitled cowboy 1995
Image © Richard Prince