Strangers can sell your Instagrams, but Suicide Girls fight back

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In May 2015, photographer Richard Prince courted controversy when he sold screenprinted (not painted, just screenprinted) art consisting of Instagram photos of Suicide Girls at Frieze art far. These artworks commanded sales of up to $90K. The SG models involved were not notified beforehand and did not see a share of the profits.

What Richard Prince did wasn’t illegal. The photos were copyright-free, and as an artist he’s made his name through intended appropriation. Back in 2012 he published Catcher in the Rye, replacing J.D. Salinger’s name with his own. In this case, he tweaked the Instagram photos a tiny bit by adding cryptic or surreal comments at the bottom of the photos. In the photo of Doe Deere below, you’ll see richardprince1234 has added the following comment:

“No Cure, No Pay…”

Ask any model and they’ll know from experience just how hard it can be to ensure you get your just dues financially as well as in terms of recognition. Perhaps surprisingly, the Suicide Girls didn’t go after Richard Price through the legal system. Instead, Doe Deer – one of the many models whose faces had been used in the art collection – had the genius idea of serving up the controversial photographer a sweet dish of free market revenge! She began offering her own identical prints at massively reduced rates, charging customers $90 instead of $90,000.

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Photo credit: Doe Deere

If someone ever tries to sell your Instagram photos at $90,000 a pop, it’s nice to know there’s at least one way of dealing with it.

SG website founder Selina Mooney has since announced that prints of all the models in that gallery collection will be sold for $90, with the proceeds going to charity.


write for Mookychick