In an age where putting every photo ever taken of yourself online is the norm, it’s not surprising that someone calling themselves an “artist” has finally found a way to capitalize on all those beautiful filtered shots you post online. Meet Richard Prince, a man who’s here to steal and sell your Instagram photos.
While Prince’s exhibition of new works-which were actually just other people’s instas—ran last year, users of the photo-sharing network are just finding out that he had stolen over thirty pictures, added his own caption to them, printed them out (he printed them out) and then sold them for $90,000. This, my friends, is both douchey as fuck and brilliant as hell. On one hand I am outraged that this guy got away (and will continue getting away) with this; on the other, I kind of wish I had thought of it myself. Could you all put your Instagram links in the comments for me? I’m going to figure out a way to monetize on pictures of your lunch.
Artist Richard Prince is notorious in the art world for taking other people’s work, “appropriating” them as his own with various changes, and then selling them for large amounts of dough. His latest endeavor is once again raising eyebrows: Prince is selling other people’s Instagram photos for up to $100,000 each.
In a gallery exhibition titled “New Portraits,” which ran at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC from September through October 2014, Prince displayed 38 portraits featuring photos taken from his Instagram feeds — other people’s images, and without permission.
The large 48×65-inch works featured a screenshot of the photo as it appeared on Instagram and a short message posted by Prince himself as the last comment on each one.
Here’s one of the photos, which has reportedly sold for almost $100,ooo:
In order to make the work his own, Prince added the comment “no cure, no pay” to the bottom of each photo — something that makes no sense to me, but okay, ~*~ArT~*~. And, unfortunately, it seems that Doe Deere, the woman in the above photo, isn’t going after him. She posted the following message after being alerted to the theft, just days ago:
Figured I might as well post this since everyone is texting me. Yes, my portrait is currently displayed at the Frieze Gallery in NYC. Yes, it’s just a screenshot (not a painting). 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! 😳 #lifeisstrange #modernart #wannabuyaninstagrampicture
Prince may have a lot of money now, but it appears that no one in the art world likes or respects him. Peta Pixel reports that artnet, which wrote a piece about the show, called their article Richard Prince Sucks and pointed out that there was no reason for the show except to make Prince some cash. Prince has also been sued before for infringing on copyright, so it seems like it's not his first turn at being a megalomaniacal asshole. And if the show is as successful as it seems, what's to stop him from repeating it?
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