Grand Canyon, Inc. / Untitled (Original Cowboy)
Percival Everett’s Grand Canyon, Inc. relates the tragicomic tale of crack rifle shot Winchell Nathaniel “Rhino” Tanner; his sidekick Simpson Trane, aka BB (named for the BB pellet lodged inextricably in his skull); and their battle to “acquire” the Grand Canyon by constructing an amusement park on Plateau Point.
Matched with an artwork by Richard Prince, the publication is part of Gagosian’s Picture Books, an imprint conceived by author Emma Cline and dedicated to publishing fiction by leading authors alongside contributions by celebrated contemporary artists.
Prince’s photograph, Untitled (Original Cowboy), which depicts the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the Arizona-Utah border, sees the artist continue his long engagement with the iconography of the American West. For this series, instead of rephotographing and manipulating images clipped from magazine advertisements, as he has done before, Prince visited the area to seek out quintessential viewpoints established by preceding photographers. “Prince is so wily and wry, in ways that echo Everett,” says Emma Cline. “They are both tricksters who take a sideways look at the mythology of the West and reveal it anew.”