Brian was kind to share in the comments to my previous post [thanks Brian] an interesting article published in the New York Times about Richard Prince and the appropriation of art. I have to say that I am quite puzzled about this topic. Despite being a distressful thought, one could argue that the artistic merit- subject wise- of a “picture of a picture” is no different from a “picture of a car”, a “picture of a house”, or even a “picture of a person”. Is it the picture or is it the subject what creates the artwork? Or, perhaps it is both? Clearly, millionaire collectors have expressed their opinion with the prices paid for Richard Prince’s work.
Since the late 1970s, when Richard Prince became known as a pioneer of appropriation art — photographing other photographs, usually from magazine ads, then enlarging and exhibiting them in galleries — the question has always hovered just outside the frames: What do the photographers who took the original pictures think of these pictures of their pictures, apotheosized into art but without their names anywhere in sight? – from the New York Times