"What could be more 'normal' in American culture than a cowboy, that mythic figure of virility, chivalry, and rugged freedom?...In the popular American imagination, the cowboy is a cipher onto which many contradictory desires and ideals have been projected the cowboy has come to represent the lonesome hero, the fiercely independent guardian of prairie ethics, the archetypal alpha male. Both a role model and sex symbol, the cowboy appeals to men and women alike. His hyped, exaggerated masculinity has also made him a gay icon, a fact no doubt embraced by Philip Morris, whose desired demographic knows no boundsLifted from the readily available archive of Marlboro Men, Prince's Cowboy series, begun in 1980, captures these multiple connotative levels. Prince makes the most of the lush, high budget, art-directed aesthetic of the ad campaign. After eliminating the text and enlarging the image, he does little to these already gorgeous pictures. They stand on their own as relics of an imagined, individualistic culture" (N. Spector, "Nowhere Man," Richard Prince: Spiritual America, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2007, pp. 33-34).