Around 1981, Richard Prince sees the Marlboro Man in all magazines. The cowboy wandering with cattle in the endless deserts of the Wild West was a good choice for an advertising campaign because it flattered the nostalgia of the citizens for the adventurous past of their ancestors, also highlighted by western movies.
Prince appropriates the best color photographs of cowboys, whether or not already used by Marlboro. What matters is to display the beautiful picture of a typical cowboy with his Stetson, vest and spurs.
When the character and his horses are in full action, that is even better. On June 28, 2012, Phillips sold for £ 600K including premium an image offering all these qualities. This Ektacolor 69 x 102 cm was the artist's proof from its 1986 edition in two commercial units.
The same print is now estimated $ 1M for sale on March 3 in New York by the same auction house, lot 8.
Richard Prince's cowboys had opened in the early 1980s a new era of photography along with the changing faces of Cindy Sherman. The next phase will be characterized by digitization with the transfers by Richard Prince of cover pages from novels and with the endlessly detailed scenes by Andreas Gursky.