(KBCW) — Apparently creating art worth $100,000 requires nothing more than commenting on a random Instagram post, a canvas and a large-format printer. But not without clearing hurdles of ethical questions first.
Artist Richard Prince is at the center of it all after displaying his “New Portraits” exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery in New York last year which features portraits of people he did not take. Instead, they’re screenshots of Instagram photos. His twist? He simply added his own comment then printed them out on a large canvas.
Gothamist reports you can purchase some of these “portraits” for up to $100,000 — money that’s all pocketed by Prince.
He reportedly did not get permission for any of these prints, as one Instagrammer confirms:
“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.”
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) of my original post. 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
So, is this legal? Since he’s not making perfect replicas, fair use may apply if the work is considered “transformative,” similar to parody which is usually protected from claims of copyright infringement.
Legal or not, Prince has created enemies in the photography world who claim he’s been “rephotographing” since the 1970s.
“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,” Petapixel said.