The Prince | Michael Zavros

A Rockhampton Art Gallery travelling exhibition.

In New York in the late 1970s a young Richard Prince, working in the tear sheet department at Time Life, began to manipulate images from advertising, reconfiguring them as his own and, in the process, creating some of the most contentious and iconic work of the twentieth century.

Art Exhibition previously on at Rockhampton Art Gallery in North Queensland precinct, Queensland, Australia.
From Saturday 16 February 2013 to Sunday 07 April 2013

Prince/Zavros 9 image Prince/Zavros 10 image Prince/Zavros 11 image The tiger image

Published by anonymous on Friday 01 February 2013.
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Prince’s re-photographs of Marlboro cigarette advertising sans logos reclaimed the iconic hero of the frontier – the American cowboy, from the clutches of commercial advertising. Certainly Richard Prince’s original intervention, appropriation, might be seen not as theft, but rather a returning of the images to their original context. Marlboro effectively utilised one of America’s great romantic cultural myths – that of the cowboy, a free spirit, an outsider riding the last frontier – and appropriated ‘him’ to market cigarettes.

Some thirty years later Queensland artist Michael Zavros’ recent work revisits Prince’s Untitled (cowboy) series. This exhibition brings together the Prince/Zavros series of drawings and paintings with recent paintings of interiors, earlier paintings of men’s fashion drawn from commercial advertising, and ‘TV’ paintings.

The Prince effects a collision between Prince and Zavros across the passage of time, enacting a collapse of art history. Through Zavros’ appropriated appropriation – photography mediated via painting – the work of Richard Prince is re-­‐presented to a contemporary audience, for whom, arguably, the original context – cigarette advertising – is redundant. Cigarette advertising is a dinosaur.

For a younger audience the original Marlboro advertisements may perhaps appear as blasphemy. Perhaps these viewers would be bemused by the marriage of epic snow capped mountains and cattle, horses and cowboys with a consumable known to cause cancer, but through the lens of contemporary pop culture come to understand it in a post Mad Men ironic or retro context.

The Prince/Zavros series offers a copy (the Zavros) of a copy (a photograph by Richard Prince) of a copy (the Marlboro billboard advertisement) of a myth (the cowboy). They offer a meditation on what is ‘real’. A post postmodern, post appropriation gesture of appropriation, Zavros’ paintings and drawings are quite simply, romantic. They remind us of the power of a great image and the potency of a single idea.

EXHIBITION DATES: 16 February – 7 April 2013
The exhibition will travel to Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane from 24 May to 7 July 2013

The Prince includes new work exhibited for the first time and will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue including essays by Rockhampton Art Gallery and Griffith University Art Gallery staff, and an interview with the artist.

Sponsored by Lexus of Rockhampton.