Artist prints Instagram photos and sells them For $100K at NYC gallery

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I may be wrong, but I do not believe fair use covers the redistribution for sale or profit any person’s likeness. Seems in this case this “artist” literally is just blowing the untouched or altered image up. He’s selling the likeness…which is not legally acceptable without permission.


The monetary value of “art” of this nature is due solely to its utility as a plaything for rich people and not an actual reflection of the desirability and quality of the art itself. Right?


But wait,it isn’t theft since no one is losing anything - the people that took those pictures still have them, so someone copying them can’t be considered theft.

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Not to be pedantic and stuff, but perhaps you have a typo?
I think the word you are looking for instead of “selected” is “steals”.

Richard Prince steals other people’s Instagram photos, prints them in large format, and puts them on display in a gallery. ftfy =) You may consider adding: “Morons amble in and pay up to $100,000 for the purloined pics.”

Still, at $100k each, Instaburglar is making some nice scratch off other people’s pics.


I’m not sure who would buy such a print and why on Earth they’d pay so much money for it, but I guess that’s a whole other discussion.

Yes, can we please have that discussion. As an artist, I honestly need to know the purchasing habits of people with crap tons of disposable income; because I can make absolutely no sense of it on my own.


As RedMonkey has pointed out, your pedanticism is misplaced. Theft is when you deprive someone of something - if you destroy it a nanosecond after you steal it, it is still stolen. Copying does not deprive anyone of anything, therefore is is (pedantically) not stealing.

Copying other peoples’ work without permission or compensation in order to exploit rich idiots is probably wrong, but it’s certainly not stealing.


It’s a form of money laundering for the upper classes. Park your bucks in high-priced “art” for a while, then sell to the next sucker at a similarly ridiculous price later.

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Why would anyone buy one of these for $100K?

Find the one one you like, go to the Instagram page in question, copy the image yourself, and off to CafePress to print on canvas for $35 or whatever?


Cariou v. Prince… he’s done this before… successfully.

Someone please take a picture of his art and re-sell it again. Why not try?


Make sure he’s in every frame, standing next to his work. I’d really want to see if he’d take that one to court.


Was settled, and therefore not precedent (I think).

I really do not like the Cariou v. Prince decision, and truly wish that it had been accepted for cert by the Supreme Court. The good news is that it only affects (or to put it more accurately infects) the Second Circuit. The bad news is that the Second Circuit includes the center of the universe when it comes to the high-end art world.

I have an idea: let’s adapt the Prince Instagram series and sell them through Wal-Mart. Instant karma!


It remains precedent in the Second Circuit, which includes Manhattan, the center of the high-end art universe. Unfortunately.

Or, if the purchaser still wants to get that “supporting the arts” feel, I’ll personally copy the copy of the photo and sell it to you for only $5000. How’s THAT for free market dynamics? You’ll even get a nice (well, I think they’re nice) plastic frame.

Dick had altered Prince’s work in that case. Adding elements and creating an “original” work. Dick owns neither the comments nor the images and the juxtaposition of the comments on the image with the image in this manner isn’t quite transformative. Unless those comments are possibly all Dick’s own and provide his own commentary or perspective on the image.

I daydream about him sticking to us all by passing some if not all of the money back to those who originated the images, but Dick doesn’t seem like the type.

Oh, i get it. The answer to the question “what’s so great about abstract modern art?” Is: “could be worse…”


Well now, I’m not so sure. Depends on your definition of theft, no? If theft is defined as the usurpation (use without prior permission) of another person’s property for personal economic gain, then perhaps Prince’s actions fit the bill.


Christ, what an asshole. No wonder I’m not on Instagram.