Richard Prince Does it Again

Doedeere on Instagram says she is okay with having Prince use her photo for his artwork.

Doedeere on Instagram says she is okay with having Prince use her photo for his artwork and is not planning on suing.

Richard Prince, the lord of repurposing other people’s artwork, has done it again. I’ve written about his work a couple times before (here, and here) but this time, Prince took Instagram photos, removed the captions, changed the comments, blew up the images to six feet, and managed to sell them for $90,000 through the Gagosian Gallery at the Frieze Art Fair in New York (detailed story by Washington Post here). Although I’ve supported¬†Prince in the past and am a strong advocate against applying copyright for artistic purposes, I have to admit that I am hugely disappointed in this current endeavor. Prince’s past work involved at least some manipulation to the photographs with cut-outs, saturation changes, and cropping (among others). With this one though, he made no changes to the photographs, just changed the accompanying text.

The Gagosian Gallery booth at the Frieze Art Fair in NY in early May, 2015

The Gagosian Gallery booth at the Frieze Art Fair in NY in early May, 2015

As somewhat of a counter-move, Missy Suicide, one of the Instagram users whose image was repurposed by Prince, is selling her prints for $90 and donating proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Missy Suicide has an Instagram account (suicidegirls) and is one of the people whose image was re-used by Richard Prince.

Missy Suicide has an Instagram account (suicidegirls) and is one of the people whose image was re-used by Richard Prince. She is offering a print of her own for $90.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only Richard Prince pieces that I really love are those in his “joke” series. These paintings comprise of a joke (mostly containing lewd or impolite material) on a huge canvas. Aside from the often perverse content, they are beautiful artifications of typography.

joke joke1 richard-prince-joke_550

On a side note, I think anything that is made in a large scale – whether it be a photograph or a painting- automatically looks super impressive and becomes “art”.

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