FROM THE ARCHIVES

W Flashback: Richard Prince’s 2007 Art Issue, Featuring Paparazzi Photographs


Ever since W launched its annual Art Issue in 2006, nearly every artist tapped to showcase their vision through the cover has worked directly with a celebrity, from Mickalene Thomas transforming Cardi B into a number of glamor queens from a bygone Hollywood era to Yayoi Kusama covering George Clooney in polka dots. The second-ever Art Issue (2007) was conceived of by the artist Richard Prince (who has returned for the 2019 edition, as well). Both then and now, he has tampered with in-the-moment , celebrity-saturated media ephemera. In 2007, it was all about paparazzi imagery. Prince decided on a number of high-profile names from that year, including Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears. Prince simply downloaded their widely seen images, then appropriated the photos with hand-scribbled messages dedicated to himself. One example: “Hey Richard, Shine on!, Angelina Jolie.” See what his commentary on celebrity culture looked like in the days before Instagram—which he used for the 2019 Art Issue cover, starring Kate Moss—with his 2007 Art Issue covers, here.

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Richard Prince’s Angelina Jolie on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Jennifer Aniston on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Jessica Simpson on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Cameron Diaz on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Julia Roberts on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Nicole Kidman on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Jennifer Aniston on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.

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Richard Prince’s Britney Spears on W’s November 2007 Art Issue cover.