Earlier this year Richard Prince lost in court to Patrick Cariou, whose images Prince appropriated for several collages and paintings. The debate is still raging, especially as the court’s ruling would bar artists from appropriating images unless they are commenting on the original work–something Prince’s work fails to do, and a difficult test to use in the digital media world where images are so easily accessible and useful to artists for any and all purposes. Randy Kennedy has written an excellent analysis of the case and its potential impact on artists, collectors and museums in today’s New York Times. The implications of this case are far-reaching and controversial but might not have much effect today, according to Kennedy, who reminds us that the proverbial horse has long ago fled the barn. MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum
have weighed in on Prince’s side to support freedom of expression for artists, but so much appropriation is happening today in so many places, the courts would have a difficult time pursuing perpetrators and if the law stands it would be nearly impossible to enforce.