Friday, January 30, 2009

Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Copyright Infringement


A good article in the Wall Street Journal here, with good images for comparison, on the claim of photographer Patrick Cariou that artist Richard Prince had ripped him off. It's not the first time that a photographer has been upset over Prince's actions. Someone sent me a NY Times article on the original photographer who did the Marlboro Man campaigns that Prince copied.
Now I know Cariou's name - Prince has made him and his work more famous, and the two will probably make more money in their respective careers following the tiff than before, no matter what the end result.
The WSJ article discusses cases involving Jeff Koons, the puppies case and the more recent Niagara case (image here). I met Jeff Koons last night for the first time at the National Arts Club where he was being presented with a medal.
We discussed his litigations, and he said that they have really changed his work.
In a visual online world where "free speech" for a visual artist may include defacing the work of another, we are going to see a lot of boundaries changing. What's fair today may not be fair tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Armistead said...

I don't think it is Prince that is making Cariou more famous. Rather, it is the lawsuit. I don't think Prince or his gallery ever acknowledged Cariou as being the author of the appropriated photographs.