Artist ‘steals’ Instagram photos, sells them for $90,000 in New York

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A reminder that what you post on the internet doesn’t really belong to you.

Painter/photographer Richard Prince displayed works of art at the Frieze Art Fair in New York. But the art wasn’t originally his.

Prince took giant screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos without warning or permission, then displayed them as his own.

The collection, “New Portraits,” is mostly pictures of women, many in ‘sexually charged poses.’ The portraits are literally screenshots that have been enlarged to 6-foot-tall prints.

Each piece sold for $90,000, according to Vulture.

Prince has been using and selling other people’s art since the 70’s. According to the Washington Post, he takes pictures of photos in magazines, advertisements, books or actors’ headshots, then alters them to varying degrees. They usually look almost identical to the original.

Prince’s method has, of course, led to legal trouble.

In 2008, French photographer Patrick Cariou sued Prince after he “re-photographed” Cariou’s images of Jamaica’s Rastafarian community. Cariou won at first, but an appeal revealed that Prince had not committed copyright infringement because his work was “transformative.”

In other words, Prince can make slight adjustments to other people’s photos and call them his own.


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