Purple Diary

[March 27 2011]

Richard Prince ordered to destroy his artworks in Copyright Dispute

In the case of Patrick Cariou versus Richard Prince, we must support the underdog here, which is the free reign of creativity. The present always attempts to control the future by policing the past and this copyright ruling is further evidence of that tyranny. If we define an artist as someone with the ability to embed thought in material, then clearly Prince has achieved as much with his Canal Zone series. Anyone familiar with his work can see the direct echoes of his Human Nature (dub version) collaboration with Glenn O’Brien from 2001 as they collide with his latter day de Kooning women paintings. The fair use litmus test should be to hold up a Canal Zone work and ask if you can trace its creator without knowing the provenance. It’s obvious to any knowledgable art fan that these floating lozenges are in the signature style of Richard Prince. Photo and Text Bill Powers

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