LOOK: An Inimitable Western

This is my first article for the NYTimes Magazine, who hired me to oversee photography for their digital department. Their photo essay section, Look, has migrated to digital, so I’ve been tasked with shepherding them. Since the digital team is still developing, I’ve happily been granted a few extra tasks, like writing these articles. I will be posting ones I wrote here.

The Chicago-based commercial photographer Jim Krantz’s work has been famous in the art world for years. Krantz himself has been less so — a fact that perhaps requires some explanation. In the 1990s, Krantz, who had been documenting the cinematic vistas of the American West and its people with his camera for 20 years, went to Texas to photograph cowboys for a Marlboro advertising campaign. The final product caught the eye of Richard Prince, the “appropriation artist” who had achieved renown by photographing ads and presenting the resulting images in galleries and museums. Beginning in the 1980s, Prince reproduced images from Marlboro ads for his “Cowboys” series. One such print, at the time of its sale in 2005, was the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction.

Read more at NYTimes Magazine