Untitled (Cowboy) is one of twenty films that I executive produced for the 100 Most Influential Photos project. In 2005, the picture sold for $1.2 million at auction, then the highest publicly recorded price for the sale of a contemporary photograph. The sale was a record in the art world, but what really made it incredible, is that Richard Prince created the photograph by simply re-photographing a Marlboro ad and removing the text. Prince's re-photography helped to create a new art form—photography of photography—that foreshadowed our current era of digital sharing and upended our understanding of a photo’s authenticity and ownership. The Cowboy series made Richard Prince a deeply controversial (and eventually very wealthy) artist of appropriation.
To see more about TIME's 100 Most Influential Photos project, go to the INTERACTIVE section of the website.