Richard Prince claims he has returned the $36,000 he received from Ivanka Trump for a work he recently disavowed as “fake.” The artist intended the gesture as an act of protest directed at Trump’s father, who is due to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in one week, but it may have the unintended consequence of making the work more (rather than less) valuable.
The piece, from Prince’s ongoing New Portraits series, is a screenshot of a photo from Trump’s Instagram feed (a mid-makeover selfie), comments and all, printed on canvas. It was specially commissioned by Trump in a transaction brokered by an art advisor in November 2014. On Wednesday, Prince took to Twitter to publicly renounce the piece. “This is not my work. I did not make it. I deny. I denounce. This fake art,” he tweeted. Prince intended his action as a protest against Trump and her father, echoing recent public statements by other artists whose work Trump owns, including Alex Da Corte and Nate Lowman, who are involved in the “Dear Ivanka” campaign.
However, given the many layers of irony, filtering, and conceptual framing that characterize Prince’s oeuvre, it’s unclear whether his public disowning of the work will negatively affect its worth and status as an authentic Richard Prince, or, on the contrary, it will add to its resale value. Or, as New York-based art advisor Joshua Holdeman told the New York Times, “My intuition about this is that when history plays out, this will probably end up being a more culturally rich object than if this whole episode hasn’t happened.”
Not a prank. It was sold to IvankaTrump & I was paid 36k on 11/14/2014. The money has been returned. SheNowOwnsAfake. pic.twitter.com/zR2S6jZBA7
— Richard Prince (@RichardPrince4) January 12, 2017
Prince reportedly sought to return the money through the advisor who originally arranged the commission, whom he refused to name. However, a source close to Trump told the Times that the money is being returned to Prince.
“It was just an honest way for me to protest,” Prince told the Times. “Whether it will affect anything is not the point. It’s a way of me saying to them I don’t want my work in your possession. I don’t want anything to do with your family.” On his personal blog, Birdtalk, Prince was a little more candid about his motivations: “When it comes to Donald Trump, I feel like I want to ring someone’s neck. I felt like if I could be honest it might relieve some of the frustration.”
As one Twitter user points out, Prince seems to have given Trump a bargain — the New Portraits works are known to sell for as much as $100,000.
Also, gotta love the fact that Ivanka got a *personalized* portrait for $36K when the rest were selling for $90K+
— Minerva (@minervvvva) January 13, 2017
Though, as another reader notes, these figures may not take into account the fee given to Prince’s gallery, Gagosian, which he was still working with at the time.
Bobby Wilson Combats Indigenous Stereotypes Through Humor
The artist-performer’s career undulates, ever so gracefully, across multiple mediums and registers of generational pain, healing laughter, and Indigenous joy.
Rare 19th-Century Silhouette Album’s Secrets Unlocked
Traveling portrait artist William Bache’s album depicts famous figures like Thomas Jefferson as well as people whose identity was previously unknown.
Nevada Museum of Art Presents Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity
For the first time in nearly 60 years, the innovative yet under-recognized artist is the subject of a retrospective exhibition. On view in Reno, Nevada.
Artists Show What They Can Do With a Google Phone’s Camera
Works by 20 photographers are now on view in Manhattan for the seventh season and 100th project coming out of the Google Creator Labs.
Met Museum Kicked Me Out for Praying to My Ancestral Gods
My danced prayer to looted Cambodian antiquities was too much for the New York museum.
The Public Theater in NYC Presents Plays for the Plague Year
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’s theatrical concert chronicles the 2020 lockdown and the hope and perseverance that emerged from it.
A Museum Guard’s Ode to the Healing Power of Art
In All the Beauty in the World, Patrick Bringley revisits the many ways that art meets life, and life art, and how death is often the bridge between them.
UK Extends Export Ban on Coveted “Portrait of Omai”
London’s National Portrait Gallery was given a few months to acquire the work, which depicts the first Polynesian visitor to the UK.
Mondays at Pratt Institute: Weekly Openings of Work by Graduating Artists
Free and open to the public, Pratt Shows celebrate the school’s graduating students. MFA and BFA work on view this spring in Brooklyn, New York.
The Sculptor Making Art With Loved Ones’ Ashes
Inspired by the three-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Julian Stair’s exhibition honors the lives of eight people with cinerary jars.
Art Institute of Chicago Under Scrutiny Over Sacred Nepali Necklace
The 17th-century object remains on display at the Chicago museum despite Nepal’s calls for repatriation.
LSU School of Art Grants Highest MFA Stipends in the Southern US
With funded assistantships, full tuition waivers, and generous stipends, Louisiana State University helps students lay the groundwork for a successful lifelong art practice.
Art Problems: How Do I Get a Public Art Commission?
Want to leave a mark on your city or town, but don’t know where to start? Paddy Johnson has some tips.
Rose B. Simpson Embeds Ancestral Histories in Clay
She has taken clay and used it to recall its ancestral roots in Pueblo culture and address the present history of postcolonial recovery and ongoing trauma.
Just stop giving this common thief any press … any attention. He swims with the pond slime.
Comments are closed.