Appropriation troubles

Richard Prince, reigning king of appropriation, has just been dethroned.  Or maybe just temporarily demoted.  On March 18th, Prince and the Gagosian Gallery lost the suit brought against them by French photographer Patrick Cariou for copyright infringement.  For his 2008 show at the Gagosian called ‘Canal Zone’, Prince took a large number of photographs from Cariou’s book Yes Rasta of Rastafarian men in Jamaica and appropriated them for his show.  He enlarged the images and altered them (sometimes only very slightly), with paint or collage techniques.  The implications for contemporary artists, many of whom use appropriation and copying (or for that matter their more subtle sister, referencing) in their work are far-reaching.  The ruling affects not only the future display and sale of such work, but the reception of and attitudes surrounding appropriation.  As example, see here from the Wall Street Journal.

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