Suicide Girls Reappropriate Art That Appropriation Artist Richard Prince Appropriated — At A 99.9% Discount
from the that's-how-it's-done dept
Yesterday, we wrote about appropriation artist Richard Prince and his slightly bizarre exhibit of other people’s Instagram photos, with just the addition of a nonsensical Richard Prince comment — and then selling them for $90,000 a pop. As we noted, Prince comes off like a complete jackass in almost every way here, but he doesn’t care. In fact, his Twitter feed is like an art exhibit of not giving a single fuck — retweeting or mocking many of the angry tweets coming his way, and joking about the $90,000 fees for the photos (saying that he thought it was twice that price).
In that post, we noted that one of those whose photos was used tried to “reappropriate” things by releasing a press release claiming that his artwork was being displayed in an exhibit “organized by” Prince. Some folks noticed that a bunch of the images Prince used were actually from the well-known Suicide Girls instagram feed. And now it appears that the Suicide Girls have hit back with their own bit of reappropriation as well — selling versions of basically the same prints as Prince’s for… $90, rather than $90,000. And, yes, the Suicide Girls reappropriation includes Richard Prince’s nonsensical comments… but they also added one of their own:
Do we have Mr. Prince?s permission to sell these prints? We have the same permission from him that he had from us. 😉
Also, any profits are being donated to EFF, so that obviously rocks as well.
Again, there are interesting questions about fair use and transformative work here — even if it’s pretty widely agreed that Prince is being a total jackass about the whole thing. But, what’s much more interesting than the copyright question is how people are responding to this. There’s a social cost involved here. Prince doesn’t care, because that social cost has no impact on his ability to sell ridiculous $90,000 prints to people who care more about “names” than art. But others are building off of the controversy and doing unique things to have an impact without having to resort to the “obvious path” of copyright law. This is a point that often gets lost in these discussions. Even if a copyright claim is a possible path, that doesn’t mean it’s the best path. It appears that many have recognized that there are better ways to deal with this than using the sledge hammer approach that copyright law provides.