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He apparently didn’t ask for permission to use many of the posts in the show, he just did it.
Naturally, this has a lot of people confused and angry that someone could just swipe their photos and claim them as their own. On top of that, there are reports that some have been sold for upwards of $100k.
His bio on Gagosian’s site explains his method, saying that he has been “mining images from mass media, advertising and entertainment since the late seventies,” and that he has “redefined the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura.”
A court determined it was fair use several years ago after a major copyright lawsuit concerning altered photos from a photographer named Patrick Cariou.
His work and the controversy surrounding it is not new, but several of his Instagram pieces were recently featured in the Frieze Art Fair in New York (see a few above), which has attracted a renewed interest in the story.
A number of different sites have written about the Instagram art this week, including PetaPixel and DIYPhotography.
And Doe Deere, one of the woman who only recently discovered that she was part of the exhibit, posted about it on Instagram along with a picture of the piece based on this image from last year.
In the caption, she claims her piece has been sold to a buyer for $90k.
Your selfies are apparently worth more than you think.
He also has plenty of supporters, however, like New York Mag’s Jerry Saltz who reviewed his Instagram show back in September and dubbed it “genius trolling.”
“In my way of thinking, too many artists are too wed to woefully outmoded copyright notions,” he wrote. “Laws that go against them in almost every case.”
Prince meanwhile has since been tweeting about all of the new attention, including the fact that he was a top trending topic on Facebook early Friday morning and posting screenshots of the comments he’s been getting from critics online:
Early in my teaching career, about 14 years ago, I inadvertently "taught" a food-thief a lesson. I was teaching a mixed special-ed grouping of middle-school aged boys with developmental and emotional challenges.
We had a class pet, a hamster, named Mr. Peepers (note -- I am not a fan of rodents as pets, nor did I provide the name for this one). Anyway, one morning, Mr. Peepers escaped from his cage, then evidently crawled along the bookshelf before nose-diving in a vat of paper mache mix next to the shelf.
I was grossed out when I reached in and came up with a slimy, dead hamster.
As the story continues, the boys in my class were distraught. We had to spend the morning writing poems about, and drawing pictures for, the deceased Mr. Peepers. We couldn't give him a proper burial, though, because it was cold and stormy outside. I tried to sneak the corpse to the dumpster, but was caught. The only thing I could think to do was put Mr. Peepers into a frozen yogurt container and freeze him till we could appropriately lay him to rest.
This is where the lesson plays out... the gym teacher was notorious for taking food that looked good but was not actually hers.
I guess fro-yo sounded good to her that day. She was not expecting to find a dead, papier-mache covered hamster in the fro-yo container.