Untitled (Cowboy) Richard Prince 1989

- - Working

If you’ve followed Richard Prince and the lawsuits over the years this interview adds another piece to the puzzle.

Source: Time 100 Photos

There Are 15 Comments On This Article.

  1. Dave Cearley

    Can anyone explain to me why this isn’t theft, but Fairey’s adaptation of the AP photo of Obama was rued theft? Fairey at least created a new piece of work from the photograph.

  2. Pardon my Anglo Saxon diction.

    I like to think this fucking asshole is the forerunner to cut and paste on Instagram and Facebook and all the other no name petty plagiarizers.
    Talent??? Sure. For fooling the “art world” public. Like they give a hoot about copyright and original talent and a sleeze ball in their midst.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. Ablewasiereisawelba

    Let’s be clear: it’s not really about Richard Prince rephotographing other people’s work. It’s about the fact that he’s made his money doing it.
    Unethical? You betcha. Immoral? He’s not lying about what he did.

    The people I’m really angry at are the gallery owners who’s encouraged him by selling it as art but then this is America and America has always been about making as much money as you can as quickly as you can.

    I liked finding out about the roots of a photo essay in Life Magazine weigh the origin for some adman’s bright idea to use cowboy imagery to sell Marlboro cigarettes. Prior to that Marlboro was sold as a cigarette for sophisticated women.

  4. What is really interesting is that after watching the video I then looked at today’s “Daily Edit” piece featuring the work by Gruber Images for Bicycling Magazine. and I thought “not much has really changed in terms of photographic iconography has it?”

  5. He literally took (as in stole) images and profited on other people’s work. Its as simple as that. The interviewee who tried to twist his theft into having some deeper meaning was really just justifying his greed and selfishness. I find the whole thing immoral, unethical and a sad commentary on ourselves in that everyone who was willing to let it go did so out of greed not art.

  6. The fact that Richard Prince will never/can never identify with the thoughts and feelings of the photographers whose work he stole means one of two things:

    1) He’s a sociopath. (Sociopaths are incapable of feeling empathy).

    2) He has no concept of what it means to create art from a place of passion, hard work, dedication of time, and most importantly- unique creativity and vision, because he has never done any of those things.

    My belief is it’s a combination of both.

  7. I cannot for the life of me understand how a person can photograph another photographers work and claim it as his. He did none of the hard work or cost in creating the original image. This is just wrong and illogical.

  8. He is not an artist, but simply a copier of other peoples work.What’s galling he has made a reputation, and a lot of money, on the phony premise that HE has created body of work. I have learnt a lot from this and am going to photograph a series of artists works, then sell the images as my own creation. Lets see if the art world calls me a genius or simply a thief.

  9. Marlboro has done pretty well garnering all this free advertising. Did Prince really state that “It wasn’t important who took the photograph. I took the photograph…I literally took the photograph?” I understand appropriation and changing the source image, but this is simple crop and copy work..absolutely no creative vulnerability, no opportunity for failure, no decisive moment that he captured. I blame the art market for glorifying theft.

  10. I do believe in fair use. I want the right to include a billboard in a streetscape, or indeed to photograph a television. I’ve even worked this way myself, in college, photographing TV news footage during the start of the Iraq war (http://peterbohler.tumblr.com/post/45836881530/ten-years-ago-i-the-us-invaded-iraq-and-i-was-a).

    When I first saw the cowboy work, I thought it was a thrilling way to document an examine advertising and mythology in our culture. But every time I hear Prince speak, he seems inarticulate and lazy, both conceptually and otherwise. I think his subsequent projects have borne this out.

    Now, when I look at the cowboy images, it seems clear to me that their success relies solely on the strength of the original photographs. It is not clear to me that these images function any differently than the originals, or that they call into question the mythology of the cowboy instead of using and reinforcing it.

  11. Let me see if I got this:
    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.”

    That’s mine. I clicked the keys on the keyboard. I *literally* wrote that.

    Someone auction that for me, please.

    There’s so much in here, but Prince’s utter dismissal of the original photographers is such trash that it’s hard to get past it.