Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

In these photographic enlargements of contemporary advertisements, Richard Prince examined the mass media’s ability to both shape and fulfill our desires. Prince’s images of the Marlboro Man expose the misleading associations employed in cigarette advertisements—for instance, using a picture of the lone cowboy, a romantic image of the past, to sell a product largely to urban city dwellers, who had developed new models of masculinity. Untitled (cowboy)’s subject is heroic, deftly wrangling two rearing horses, while the blurred enlargement in Untitled (man’s hand with cigarette) shows the dark underside of addiction beneath the seductive surfaces of advertising.