Sunday, 24 May 2015

How Richard Prince Sells Other People's Instagram Photos for $100,000

quote [ If you were to take a screen shot of someone?s Instagram account and try selling it, two things would happen. The first is that you?d be told you?re violating the copyright of the photographer whose photo you?re selling, and secondly you?d be laughed at. Extensively. ]
[SFW] [art] [+5 WTF]
[by ScoobySnacks@12:01amGMT]


ComposerNate said @ 8:48am GMT on 24th May [Score:1 Insightful]
lilmookieesquire said @ 8:49am GMT on 24th May [Score:1 Funsightful]
I always just assume modern art is an easy way to launder/transfer money.
sanepride said @ 2:23am GMT on 24th May
Any art that can inspire outrage in these cynical times is worthwhile.

So is Richard Prince an unscrupulous con and thief? Thing is, folks post their images on Instagram for all the world to see and interpret. What exactly do they lose if the images are appropriated and transformed into some 'higher' form of art?
Maybe they should be outraged, or maybe they should be honored. Sure, his works sell for big bucks (his gallery probably takes half), but focusing on just the monetary value kind of misses the point.
Just for context-
Prince's website
lilmookieesquire said @ 4:41am GMT on 24th May
Because he's not a corporation doing it for ad money? Oh snap. Human (non-corporation) bash!
lilmookieesquire said @ 4:41am GMT on 24th May
Because he's not a corporation doing it for ad money? Oh snap. Human (non-corporation) bash!
MadMarchHarris said @ 4:51am GMT on 24th May
Inspiring outrage through something like the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is one thing. Inspiring rage by being blatant theft of photos and then throwing in "lol ;)" at the bottom is an entirely different matter.

I think the fact that he appears to make a living just from trawling instagram and the like eliminates my ability to sympathize with him specifically. On the other hand, in the general sense I think there is some merit to what he does (just not in him specifically). In ye olde days people would go around and take photos of local dances or festivals or punch and judy shows or whatever and now those photos are revered as cultural archives when nowadays taking a photo of some dude's act to put in a magazine without their permission is douchey quasi-theft.

And I think this plays strongly into the general "fuck modern 'art'" feelings a lot of people have. I'm not an art expert but having a very talented fine arts trained brother really opened my eyes as to why stuff like Jackson Pollock isn't just childish shit. So there is meaningful and cool modern art out there but then people see a stolen photo with "omg so deep. Press like if you're seeing this in 2015 :D" and it really makes the position that modern art doesnt suck hard to defend.
sanepride said @ 6:24pm GMT on 24th May
One of the key attributes of contemporary art is the notion that the concept can supersede the physical object. That's the main thing going on with Prince's work- the images themselves don't really matter- it's the idea that they're put out there to be seen and repurposed. As for it being theft (I note that you're wishy-washy here in calling it 'quasi-theft'), what exactly is being stolen? This is what this art is really about, not the pictures hanging on the wall selling for $100k. But of course since that's what we see art as in our culture- objects to be commodified, that's what gets the attention- and maybe that's an issue to ponder as well.
arrowhen said @ 7:50pm GMT on 24th May
It seems to me that the work of art here isn't the Instagram picture, but rather the act of exhibiting it (and selling it) as art. It's performance art, and the images themselves are just props.

Which is clever enough, I suppose, in an amusing troll sort of way. But it's still just the sort of masturbatory self-referential "art about art" bullshit that artists always seem to fall back on when they run out of good ideas. Like novels about novelists, or rock songs extolling the virtues of rock and roll.
MadMarchHarris said @ 8:14pm GMT on 24th May
If the picture doesn't matter then he should take his own. Create something representative of what's out there instead of using other people's works. I only restrain myself from calling it theft is because if you're putting it on instagram then you're opening it up for the world to see and unless it's up there as an advertisement or something then it's not really theft to use it for something else. But that's getting into technical definitions that fight against the gut reaction of it being theft. Lots and lots of people would just consider it lazy stealing to sell other people's cosplay photos (which for some people they do actually charge people to use) as art.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 8:28pm GMT on 24th May
Except the photo and its copyright belongs to whoever took it. It's why you can't get a Glamour Shots photo (or any photo) taken by a photographer/studio and use it however you wish as YOU don't own the copyright to the image.

This asshole is guilty of a copyright violation at the very least. He's also guilty of being exceptionally lazy.
sanepride said @ 9:10pm GMT on 24th May
...unless maybe he's trying to make a point about image 'ownership', copyright, and context. Prince has used appropriated images (from sources as varied as porn and pop culture) throughout his career. Of course, you could also make the argument that Warhol was lazy for silk-screening Cambpell's Soup cans and Duchamp was lazy for exhibit everyday objects as 'sculpture'.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 9:45pm GMT on 24th May
I didn't realize sculpture was as easy as ALT+PRNTSCRN followed by CTRL-V.

I can't wait to decorate my back yard with statuary.
arrowhen said @ 11:04pm GMT on 24th May
Is art supposed to be hard?
mechanical contrivance said @ 1:16am GMT on 25th May
Define art.
arrowhen said @ 1:40am GMT on 25th May
Entertainment marketed in a particular way.
mechanical contrivance said @ 3:10am GMT on 25th May
Why does that have to be hard?
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 12:04pm GMT on 25th May
What form of marketed entertainment is easy? Even strippers have to get some preliminary training and have an iota of what they're doing to be more worthwhile than surfing the net for JPEGs.
ComposerNate said @ 10:00pm GMT on 25th May
Your defining of art as particularly marketed entertainment clarifies my understanding of you, thanks.
arrowhen said @ 10:10pm GMT on 25th May
To further clarify: art is what pretentious twats call their entertainment so they can feel superior to the unwashed masses.
ComposerNate said[1] @ 11:13pm GMT on 25th May
arrowhen said @ 11:20pm GMT on 25th May
Very entertaining.
ComposerNate said @ 8:47am GMT on 25th May
Intangible craft.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 12:06pm GMT on 25th May
Are the works considered (by either popular acclaim or dollar value) great works of art the result of minimal effort?
arrowhen said @ 11:02pm GMT on 24th May
Warhol's soup cans were first thing I thought of. Why was Warhol a genius for lazily ripping off corporate branding but Prince is an asshole for lazily ripping off someone's "personal branding"?

Granted, it was a bit more of an original idea in Warhol's time.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 12:08pm GMT on 25th May
And he also used this thing called "paint."

Prince is doing a screencap, blowing it up, then sending it to one of hundreds of places on the internet that'll transfer whatever image you want to canvas.

He's doing what people on Imgur and 4chan have been doing for years but with one extra step that takes less talent than ordering a pizza.
sanepride said @ 9:00pm GMT on 24th May
I sense that you've exactly gotten the point of this work. And if it makes you mad, so much the better. I have a feeling Prince would fully approve of your reaction. Or maybe he'd just shrug and say 'eh, whatever'.
Thing is the work is highly derivative- it's been done countless times and I'd barely give it a glance if not for all the outrage and fuss. And to me, that alone makes it interesting and funny. What most of the naysayers don't get is that their outrage actually gives the work more validity and makes it more interesting than it normally would be.
arrowhen said @ 7:31pm GMT on 24th May
Don't get me wrong, I like Pollock well enough, but when you have to go back and reference a guy who's been dead for 60 years as an example of good "modern" art, maybe there's not much there to defend anymore.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 8:51pm GMT on 24th May [Score:1 Underrated]
"Modern Art" doesn't mean "it was made recently." It's a movement from the 1860's through the 1970's. Stuff after that which tries similar things (not using conventional materials/methods or aesthetics) is called "Contemporary" or "Post-Modern."

This is the classical use of these terms, which might not apply to casual conversation. It's like how the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have more concrete meanings in academia or political science vs. how they're used on Fox News.
sanepride said @ 9:03pm GMT on 24th May
I was gonna point this out, but I figured I'd just be labelled an elitist snob.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 9:48pm GMT on 24th May
Nah. We already know that. ;)
arrowhen said @ 9:47pm GMT on 24th May
Maybe I totally misinterpreted MMH's use of the word, but figured he meant "modern" the way most non-art students -- i.e., someone who would say "fuck modern 'art'" -- would use it in casual conversation.
MadMarchHarris said @ 8:16pm GMT on 24th May
The name comes up near the top of the guys wiki page. It was just in my head when I wrote it and not necessarily representative of my entire breadth of cool/misunderstood modern art. That said, I'm not big on names in art. I go to art museums sometimes but I don't really care that much about following names.
arrowhen said @ 10:08pm GMT on 24th May
I wasn't trying to dis your art history chops. Actually, Pollock is a good example, because his name STILL comes up all the time (along with Picasso and "that guy who just painted squares") when people talk about how "modern" (not necessarily Modern) art sucks, how their two year old could do better, etc. The fact that people are still talking shit about "modern" (not Modern) art by referencing paintings old enough to qualify for the senior discount at Denny's just shows that more recent "modern" (not Modern) art has failed to engage mainstream culture even enough to be misunderstood and mocked by it.
sanepride said[1] @ 10:29pm GMT on 24th May
Fine Art in general has long existed outside of mainstream culture, in a kind of elitist bubble. What's funny and ironic about Prince's work and the debate around it is that it's a rare piece that actually marries the two. And, like many marriages, there's bound to be some contention.
HoZay said @ 5:47am GMT on 24th May
Exit Through the Gift Shop?

Post a comment
[note: if you are replying to a specific comment, then click the reply link on that comment instead]

You must be logged in to comment on posts.

Posts of Import
SE v2 Closed BETA
First Post
Subscriptions and Things

Karma Rankings