From Slate’s review of MoMA’s
“The Wild West,” “Into the Sunset,” [thanks todd] a scattershot exhibit on photography’s role in forming perception of the American West:
And the opening shot of the show–right at the entrance to greet you–is Untitled (Cowboy), a Richard Prince photo from 2003 that was stolen, adapted, or made–depending on what you think of this artist–from a Marlboro ad. Although the photo looks authentic, it is, at every level, inauthentic. (We were, ironically, unable to get permission to reproduce it here.) Prince didn’t really take the picture of the cowboy himself. And even the original photographer wasn’t catching a real moment in a cowboy’s life; he was just shooting an ad.
Here, let me help. I can’t do anything about the review’s stubborn fixation on unnuanced terms like “authentic,” “true,” and “lie.” But I can and do hereby grant Slate permission to reproduce my latest work, 300×404, After Untitled (Cowboy), 2003 by Richard Prince, 2009. It’s much lower-res than the original [sic], but at least I will not try to thwart fair use of it by reviewers. Seriously, people, wtf.