Xeni chats with All In's Chris Hayes about appropriation artist Richard Prince's Instagram screenshot art

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I like Xeni’s take on this. The way Prince has done his latest “appropriation art” feels wrong. The best way to fight him is to make him irrelevant.

The nature of this kind of art takes us out of our comfort zone. I think that has value. But there’s nothing redeeming about it. He makes a ton of money on the art, and the subjects (who did 90% of the work) get no part of that action. At the end of the day, Prince seems more like an exploiter than an artist.


He’s worth $30 million, and will remain relevant as long as other people with similar amounts of money consider what he produces to be potentially profitable - this isn’t really art, it’s finance. These days he’s moved on from stealing - or “re-photographing,” as he chooses to call it - images of the Marlboro Man from print advertisements (arguably saying something about advertising, the construction of American masculinity, blah blah etc.) to stealing from individuals, rather than corporations. If it was my photo, his attorneys would shortly be receiving a contract specifying licensing terms and an invoice for $20,000, due net 30 as a courtesy. To start with.

Then again: who knows whether these things actually sold? “Dealers: They lie to you sometimes!”


Liked! Especially because of that last line.

One one level I agree…because I don’t care this type of art works.

But on another level it reeks of ageism…with Xeni’s major complaint boiling down to “He’s an old guy and doesn’t understand social media”. and “he was good in the 70’s…now he’s worthless and old”.

If it was a younger person like say. Charles Lutz that copies Andy Warhol…it’s high art…because it’s new and the artist young. http://charleslutz.com/Paintings/WarholDenied

The major sin it seems is being OLD PERSON that doesn’t keep up with hip socail media…and is now worthless.

The fact the guy actually did appropriate the art from social media and scribbled his own piss on it and sold it…is in fact the very basic of appropriation artworks.

I also think he does understand social media…and putting appropriated media from instagram and scribbling on the ‘wall’ his comments etc…is a very much the essence of social media.

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If only he could be disenvowelled.

No, I think the point is that it’s not good art. Yes he happens to be old, which is why this comparison (your dad, rapping badly) is apt. If he wasn’t old/a man, a different comparison would be made (your privileged self entitled rich white sorority cousin from the suburban midwest, rapping badly, for example) to illustrate how bad and embarassing and exploitative his art is.

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Yesterday on Reddit, a woman associated with Suicide Girls whose own pictures were used in this manner fought back in what I found to be perfect. She is selling the same pictures for 90 bucks. Just cut the market out from under him.

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While I appreciate this analogy was trying to be as universal as possible, a more accurate analogy would be, “its like watching @OtherMichael and @japhroaig do their NWA dance routine”.

(Hey, when is our next practice session?)

Tuesday night at 7pm, EST. Don’t forget your parachute pants!

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