Richard Prince Untitled (almost original) 2006

  • Not on view

In the late 1970s, Prince took a job at Time Life, where he would rip out pages of magazines and send them to advertisers to demonstrate that their advertisements were published. In 1980, he began to re-photograph ads presenting them as art. “At Time Life, I was working with seven or eight magazines, and Marlboro had ads in almost all of them,” he explained. “Every week, I’d see one and be like, ‘Oh, that’s mine. Thank you.’ It’s sort of like beachcombing.”

Created more than twenty-five years later, Untitled (almost original) pairs two images: The drawing on the left is a sketch for an advertisement he bought at an auction, and the photograph on the right is an image that Marlboro considered for an ad campaign but did not use. Pairing the images within a frame, Prince imbues these objects—never meant to be viewed as artworks—with new meaning. Through imagery of the Marlboro Man, the cigarette company’s cowboy mascot, Prince explores the myth of American masculinity—characterized by ruggedness, virility, and independence—and how it is propagated by mass media. Presenting Marlboro ads in new contexts, Prince reveals the constructed nature of masculinity: “People usually look at photographs and expect to see fact, but in the end, don’t.”

Pencil on paper and magazine illustration in artist's frame
44 x 46" (111.8 x 116.8 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr.
Object number
© 2024 Richard Prince
Drawings and Prints

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