“SuicideGirls” Deliver Cleverest Response to Richard Prince’s Instagram Appropriation

Posted by on Wednesday May 27, 2015 | Copyright/Legal

Today the adult lifestyle brand SuicideGirls issued an applause-worthy response to artist Richard Prince’s appropriation of their images: The brand’s founder, Missy Suicide, also known as Selena Mooney, announced the brand would sell for $90 the same images Prince and his gallery, Gagosian, are alleged to have sold for $90,000 at the Frieze Art Fair in New York and at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills gallery.

The print specs on the SuicideGirls images are equivalent to Prince’s pieces: 67×55-inches, inkjet printed on canvas. SuicideGirls even did a bit of appropriation of their own, incorporating the Prince comments that were the only addition the artist made to the images he appropriated. SuicideGirls also included a sly comment of their own under Prince’s: “true art,” it reads.

Prince was already notorious among photographers for his copying of other photographers’ work (and his 2013 victory in the copyright infringement case brought by photographer Patrick Cariou). A lot of vitriol has been directed at the artist and his gallery since he started selling images he found on Instagram, but Mooney avoided any legal arguments when she announced the sale.

Instead, she pointed out how Prince’s exorbitant prices put the works out of reach for anyone but the very wealthy. “My first thought was, I don’t know anyone who can spend $90,000 on anything other than a house. Maybe I know a few people who can spend it on a car. As to the copyright issue? If I had a nickel for every time someone used our images without our permission in a commercial endeavour I’d be able to spend $90,000 on art.”

“Do we have Mr. Prince’s permission to sell these prints?” she added. “We have the same permission from him that he had from us. 😉 I’m just bummed that his art is out of reach for people like me and the people portrayed in the art he is selling.”

During a Reddit AMA, Mooney also noted that SuicideGirls have “the original hires images to work from, whereas he only had the lo-res Instagram images. I bet ours look better.”

Proceeds from the sale of the SuicideGirls prints, the brand says, will be donated to Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties nonprofit focused on technology.

Related Articles: Richard Prince Did Not Infringe Patrick Cariou’s Photos, Appeals Court Rules
Appeals Court Ruling in Cariou vs Prince
Appropriation Artist Richard Prince Liable for Infringement (Lower) Court Rules


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