If you’re on Instagram, it may be time to change your settings to ‘private’. Controversial artist, Richard Prince has been stealing people’s Instagram photos, making their blown-up prints and selling them.
Prince’s “exhibition” in Gagosian Gallery, New York, in October 2014, displayed people’s Instagram photos, which were sold for £ 64,000.
Richard Prince has a history of “taking other people’s work”, adapting it and then selling it for big sums of cash. He has also managed to win previous lawsuits filed against him.
Prince has never bothered to take permission from the photo owners and has never offered to share any of the profits with them.
Gagosian Gallery described Prince’s “art” as: ‘Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art, he evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet that is unquestionably his own.’
How does he do it? Legal loophole. Prince deletes the original caption and any accompanying text and replaces it with his own text. Which makes him creepier IMO.
So why would anyone buy such art at such a high price when they themselves could get a blown-up printout for much, much, much cheaper? The answer can lie in people’s reaction to Prince’s “art”, as plenty of people are his supporters.
For those whose Instagram photos Prince has stolen, a legal battle is the costly, time-consuming option that they might not choose.