This Artist Sold Others’ Instagram Photos For Nearly $100K At A Recent Art Show


What you see above is part of Richard Prince’s latest art showing at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. The show was originally private according to the New York Post, but has recently been made very public for a number of reasons:

Prince’s 48-inch by 56-inch″ inkjet prints from celebs’ social media feeds — with his comments underneath that are sometimes just emojis — have been on display for VIPs in a private area at the Madison Avenue space.

A spy who saw the works said pics of Pam Anderson and Kate Moss are included and selling for up to $100,000.

The only problem is that many of the images involved are not of celebrities. Like the image at the top, several are just normal Instagram users or folks outside of the average public sphere of daily media digestion. The picture above feature Doe Deere, CEO of Lime Crime, but there are several others according to Paddy Johnson over at Art News:

Among the Instagram posts Prince has selected are topless images of models (including Cara Stricker), artists posing suggestively (including Kay Goldberg), and salacious portraits of celebrities known for being pretty (including Pamela Anderson, Elizabeth Scarlett Jagger, and Kate Moss). Underneath the images and comments, Prince shares his thoughts. “Don’t du anything. Just B Urself © ®,” he advises Goldberg. I thought the copyright and registered trademark symbols were references to his own experiments in authorship that began back in 1975, but it’s probably not that deep.

In another image, he writes under young singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira’s portrait of herself in the passenger seat of a red sports car: “Enjoyed the ride today. Let’s do it again. Richard.” If she had a snide response to the leering comment, we never learn what it was. Like a true troll, Prince always gives himself the last word.

This isn’t Prince’s first dance with such practices, and he makes a killing off of it. As you read above, most of the pieces are going for close to $100,000 a piece. On top of that, he’s allowed to do it under fair use and utilizes the images under a practice called “retrophotographing” according to DIY Photography:

Prince has been ‘rephotographing’ since 1975, and has been taken to court in the past after a French photographer claimed 35 of his images were lifted by the lazy “artist”.

In 2011 a US District judge ruled against Prince and the Gagosian Gallery, which displayed the photos, stating that Prince’s use of the images did not fall under fair use. A US Court of Appeals, however, mostly reversed the ruling two years later, stating that the majority of the works were transformative while a lower court was to review the other works.

So if you’re looking for a blown up Instagram photo being passed off as “art,” you can head to New York and buy yourself a piece. Or you can just do exactly what Prince did and make your own. It is probably just as good and you can pay the person who took the photo while you’re taking an appraisal of your life.

(Via New York Post / Art News / DIY Photography / Doe Deere)

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