‘Richard Prince (born 1949) is an American painter and photographer. Prince began copying other photographers’ work in 1975. His image, Untitled (Cowboy), a rephotographing of a photograph taken originally by Sam Abell and appropriated from a cigarette advertisement, was the first rephotograph to raise more than $1 million at auction when it was sold at Christie’s New York in 2005. He is regarded as “one of the most revered artists of his generation” according to the New York Times. In 2017, he generated controversy by returning a $36,000 payment he had received in 2014 for his portrayal of Ivanka Trump, claiming that he could not live with the idea of one of his works being in the collection of the Trump family.’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prince
My Initial Response
Personally I am apalled by this exhibition, the fact that Prince is taking other people’s images and using them for an actual exhibition is not photography nor art and is, in my opinion, theft.
Some may argue that it is not theft as he includes the Instagram name of the person and that in a sense we all take each others images and post them for ourselves – take Twitter, Tumblr and other forms of social media as examples. However, to create an exhibition from these images is on a completely different level to sharing them onto your personal social media page because you like them. An exhibition is an opportunity to showcase your own work and take pride in your own concepts and overall product, but an entire exhibition made entirely of other people’s images carries no pride and no skill. Also the fact that he is making millions from other people’s work is neither right nor fair for the person he has taken the image from.
As a photography student, if I were to produce a series just like this I imagine the highest grade I would receive is a third as it requires no skill, no real concept and would simply appear as a joke. It is photographers such as Robert Prince and Andy Warhol that I truly despise, as their name is carried like a brand such as Louis Vuitton and they will carry on making thousands from images that a poor in quality and lack concept whereas there are hard working photographers such as Kirsty Mitchell and Chloe Dewe Mathews who produce beautiful series of work and receive almost no recognition in comparison
How Prince Used Social Media Platforms And For What Purposes:
- He used other people’s images from Instagram and created an exhibition from them
- He used social media to spread word about his exhibition and draw a large amount of attention to it
- Perhaps he is raising questions as to who really owns an image
- Prince may be promoting Instagram to present that anyone can now become and be classed as a photographer
Wikipedia. (2017). Richard Prince. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prince. Last accessed 6th March 2017.
Richard Prince. (Unknown). Exhibitions And Installations. Available: http://www.richardprince.com/exhibitions/new-portraits_1/. Last accessed 6th March 2017.