This is a piece by Richard prince from 1972- part of his Airloom series, first displayed in his one man show at the Angus Whyte gallery in Provincetown, MA in 1973.A show of early works by Richard Prince will be held at Specific Object Gallery from June 9 - Sept 10, 2010, located at 601 West 26th Street/M285, New York, NY 10001.
This photograph was given to me personally by the Richard Prince for helping him and Lisa Spellman look for gallery space in Manhattan in 1986. Lisa now runs 303 Gallery located in the Chelsea district of NYC, and Richard Prince was the talk of the town this past fall when he opened his retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
Starting in 1980, Prince began "re-photographing" Marlboro Country from the the famous Philip Morris cigarette campaign. Prince's "Cowboy" series gives us a stunning compendium - a visual thesaurus of the American West. But ironically, it was a West that never existed. Prince revealed to us what lengths advertising executives would go to sell a product that at the time was just beginning to receive bad press. Consumers may have been increasingly uneasy about buying cigarette product, but they the advertising executives proved that people would buy into an iconic American image. (The one thing you're not likely to see in Marlboro Country is a cigarette!) The ad execs were doing their best to press our buttons, and hoped we'd barely notice them at work. Prince is a successful artist for helping us see how we were being manipulated.
Last fall, Richard Prince's "Marlboro Man" (Untitled, Cowboy) sold at Sotheby's in New York for $3,401,000, a world record for a photograph. In 2004, the same photograph also was the first photograph to break the $1million mark, an increase of 350% in value.
"Vienese Sunsets" is an orginal photograph that was one of Richard's first "gangs." "Gangs" were groups of photos that he arranged on one print. It measures 11" x 14." It is unique. I have yet to see this image in any auction or sale of Prince artwork.
Signed "R~ Prince 1986 op". There is nominal yellowing on the edge here and there where it was mounted under frame, but otherwise excellent condition- kept in sealed frame and protected for 22 years. It will be delivered in a deep rosewood, high-gloss frame with no matte (see picture).
FREE SHIPPING! I will pay the Shipping & Handling; however, BUYER PAYS INSUANCE BASED UPON FINAL SALE PRICE.
About 28 years ago, the artist Richard Prince started his "appropriation art" form of re-photographing images from advertisements in popular magazines of the the time- attempting, I think, to mock both the advertisers and the public for buying into the images of such icons as the "marlboro man" "trix, the rabbit" and "mr kool-aid" (with his smiley face and all).
If Prince's art had the same impact on us, as the run-up of the value of his art has had for the owners of his art (it was a Richard Prince photo-of-a-photo taken by some poor freelance schumuck hired by Time-Life in the 70s- that was the 1st photograph to break the $1,000,000 mark at auction) then the advertising industry, with its emphasis on glamour, sex, youth and "lying with statistics*" should have changed by now. Yes? No?
One would think that a quarter-century of dialogue generated by the art of Prince and others would have had a more significant impact on the way things are presented to our populace. But now, with Prince-signature purses selling at Hermes for, well, just a tad more than one with the simple Hermes logos (~$2500) it seems even Prince has thrown in the towel and given-up the good fight- to rest softly in either his seaside mansion on Long Island's east end or in the cozy dutch architecture of update new york.
What happened, Richard? I had a feeling when you started a lot of golf that it was all downhill from there...
*thomas szatz, author
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