Richard Prince is well know for his work on the appropriation of 35 images and 28 paintings from carious book “ yes rasta “ on images taken of rastafarians in Jamaica in 2008 at the Canal Zone exhibition .
2 A Marlboro Man Cigarette adverts Prince was also known for his work rephotographing images from Marlboro cigarette adverts which depicted “The Cowboy “ as an idealised masculine figure in American society .
3 A Gangs . He also Rephotographed pictures from different magazines on specialised niche areas of society such as gangs and bikers girlfriends . He grouped the pictures together on a plain a4 paper , showing their girlfriends lounging across the bikes
4 A Girlfriends .
My Thoughts on appropriation are that , I think it is acceptable as art if it explains an idea or concept to a new era /audience and transforms the old image into something new so we can perceive it in an entirely new way . If the old work has been re-interpreted as something new then it is a successful piece .
As in Mark klepps rephotographs of the same image in exactly the same way but in a different time . This shows us how the land has changed over time and gives us an insight into what has happened and how we live as a society . What we have done to the land or how maybe we have altered or affected it over time via our inhabitation of the area , thus it can help us in various ways and show us differences or similaritys which can only be to our educational advantage .
We are all influenced by what each of us is drawn to or what we soak up over our own lifetimes so you could argue that we are all using appropriation in one form or another to create our own work anyway . It is the idea of originality that is the key in our art . All our thoughts which we have gained from someone elses work or ideas , from what we have seen in magazines and what we have watched on the telly , is someone elses work . We have absorbed this and then we make our own work by using it to bring new ideas to the table . This to me is the same as a good appropriation of an old work by someone else . I f you reuse a common item or an old masterpiece in an entirely original way to express something totally new then it is definitely “ new work” as only you have come up with that idea and concept around it . Thus the image has been transformed into something entirely different and new which we can progress and learn from , and not just been done in the same way as before .
This of course can be a fine line to tread as I do believe some peoples appropriations are treading on delicate ground and cannot be considered as so . But could just as easily be a means to a lazy way of producing quick work via someone elses talent .
R princes appropriation 1B ( The graduation )of image 1A by cariou , to me is such an example . I cannot see , apart from satire or ridicule , exactly how it has been changed for the better . Unless I am missing something I cant say this image is a good example of appropriation as it does nothing for me .
The appropriation of The Marlboro man cigarette adverts ( image 2A ) is a bit better as it symbolises a virulent macho image of American society which is the cowboy . But I don’t think it is original as wasn’t this Marlboros intention anyway ? They wanted to stereotype and make smoking look manly in American culture by using an archetypal image .The only thing suggested is that the images make us think of what is real and what is not , as in what is real about an American cowboy and how these images glamourise them into something not entirely a reality . If i relate this to the fact of appropriation whereas the original artists work is real but R princes appropriation is not then I actually start to like this idea more and am more forgiving as to it being an original work . But I think prince has just elaborated an already thought up idea and made it his own in a cheeky and lazy way which must have been frustrating to the original artist ( “When I left, I didn’t know if I should be proud, or if I looked like an idiot.”R krantz December 6, 2007 New York Times ) . If that was my work I would have been severly pissed off too but definitely less so if none at all , if I thought and realised his use , was in an original way .