The celebrated American artist Richard Prince has been ordered to destroy works worth tens of millions of dollars after a court ruled that the paintings, which reworked a series of photographs by the French photographer Patrick Cariou, had breached copyright.
A New York federal court has ruled that Prince and his gallery [Gagosian] infringed Cariou's copyright when he produced a series of works in a 2008 show using 35 pictures from the book Yes, Rasta, published by Cariou in 2000, "in their entirety, or nearly so".
Prince adapted the Cariou works by adding, in one instance, an electric guitar and some splodges for eyes.
Stephen Bates, Guardian, Wednesday 23 March 2011
(…) My feeling based on the examples I've seen is that the pieces you created don't have very much to say. Are you trying to convey a "Mandingo" thing? or that certain issues still exist? such as racism, sexism, a stigma against interracial relationships? maybe your trying to say nothing...The problem that I have with the work you created is that you're using images of people who already have awareness to these issues. It's similar to showing soldiers committing the necessary but repulsive acts of war...to the soldiers themselves...your preaching to the choir! (…)
Jahli Kahlif, My words to Richard Prince and all concerned [read the protest page on Rasta Ites forum]