My brother, Josh, (teacher of media studies, creator of The PopCore, and founder of Function) is creating a really cool new art project. I’m kind of geeking out about it! I’ll give you a little summary in 4 bits, or you can read/watch the whole story here.
1) It starts with an artist, Richard Prince, and his 1989 Untitled (Cowboy) shown above. This piece was his attempt to shine a light on the myth of the west. He took a photo of a photo in a Marlboro ad, cropped it, enlarged it, and turned it into self referential commentary on consumer culture and the way it made a myth of the American west to sell cigarettes and pick up trucks. The irony: this piece of art became the most commercially valuable photograph ever sold (1.6 million dollars in 2006).
2) My brother was fascinated by this story, so one day, when he was standing before one of the Richard Prince originals, he took high quality digital pictures of it and re-created a high resolution image. In his words, “My image questions the value and aura of the photograph if it can be copied and re-purposed at will. We are printing a picture of a picture of a magazine ad of a myth.”
3) That itself is pretty dang cool, but he wants to push it further. Josh wants to print his re-created image on a billboard in Los Angeles. Again, in his words, “Reclaiming the image and publishing it in an advertising format without any advertising goals will bring the image full circle Ad to Art to Ad Art.”
4) Here’s the coolest part: we can all get some cowboy for ourselves! Donate $100 to his art project and you’ll receive a 24″ x 36″ cowboy print. Awesome! Donate more, and you’ll receive a limited edition, even bigger, 50″ x 70″ print — which is the same size as the Richard Prince original. Friends, this is a total bargain for over-sized art. Bargain!
I adore this print. My sister Jordan hung this very same piece (the re-creation by my brother) in her apartment in San Francisco and she received endless compliments on it. Here’s how it looks on the wall:
This would be amazing on your wall too! And it would make a great gift for anyone you know who is into art history, art commentary — or advertising. I’d grab one before they’re gone.
I’m so curious: What do think of art projects like this? Does art-as-commentary appeal to you? Or does it make you roll your eyes?