Artist Richard Prince Sells Other People’s Instagrams For $90,000—Without Them Knowing


2014-09-30-Princeinstall3 Installation view of Richard Prince: New Portraits, September 19-October 25, 2014. Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

How would you feel if a well-known artist took one of your carefully thought-out Instagram photos, blew it up, then turned around and sold it for $90,000? Probably not so happy.

Well, that’s exactly what happened this month when painter and photographer Richard Prince displayed giant six-foot screenshots of other’s people’s Instagram photos as a part of the Frieze Art Fair in New York–without notifying anyone, or getting their permission. It was a not-so-subtle reminder that nothing you post on the Internet is private and—thanks to the flexibility of copyright laws—what you post can also be shared (and sold) by just about anyone.

For “New Portraits” Prince didn’t alter any of the visuals or the usernames of the photos he chose, but he…

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