New York artist Richard Prince is reportedly selling the Instagram pics of other people as exhibits.
According to Business Insider, Prince has even been able to sell the canvasses featuring the Instagram photos with high-figure price tags attached to them.
The Gothamist reports that his controversial artworks are currently selling this weekend for nearly $100,000 each.
Reports confirm that his “New Portraits” exhibit made its premiere in the New York Gagosian Gallery last year. In order to get the images ready for display in the exhibit, he apparently did not have to do very much at all.
“They are screenshots of images other people have uploaded to Instagram. Prince has added his own comment below those already there, and printed the entire work on large canvasses.”
Instagram user Doe Deere confirmed via her Instagram page that she is featured in one of Richard Prince’s canvassed – even though she never gave him permission to use her picture.
According to her caption, the canvas with a screenshot of her Instagram post was reportedly sold at the Frieze Gallery in New York City for $90,000.
“No, I did not give my permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway. It’s already sold ($90K I’ve been told) during the VIP preview. No, I’m not gonna go after him. And nope, I have no idea who ended up with it!”
Petapixel reports that Richard Price has apparently built a reputation for himself when it comes to taking the artwork of other people, modifying them with minor changes and then selling them for large amounts of money.
— IBTimes (@IBTimes) May 23, 2015
Will Richard Prince go to jail or face any sort of penalties for his “art?” Chances are that he will not face any punishments whatsoever and will likely make even more money from his exhibit. Why not?
By making minor changes to each post, he is not creating exact duplicates – which means that he is technically meeting the requirements of fair use.
Who is going to launch their art career by re-photographing Richard Prince's art?
— Amanda Levendowski (@levendowski) May 21, 2015
After the “New Portraits” gallery made its big debut last year, Vulture reporter Jerry Saltz commented on how the artistic brilliance of Prince’s artwork actually comes from the captions that he adds to each piece.
“It’s what [Prince] does in the comments field that…adds layers on top of the disconcerting images. Here he is delving as deep as he ever has into privacy, copyright, and appropriation, twisting images so that they actually seem to undergo some sort of sick psychic-artistic transubstantiation where they no longer belong to the original makers.”
Even if the Instagram “artwork” of Richard Prince is eventually challenged formally in court, any rulings that may come from the case can very easily be appealed.
[Image Credit: Vulture]