Richard Prince has retracted his authorship of a work he sold to Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner two years ago and returned the money to the art collectors.

The work in question belongs to his Instagram series, for which the artist searches for posts from celebrities and strangers, adds his own commentary and then prints them on canvas. Intriguingly this work originated from Ivanka Trump’s own Instagram account, showing the 35 year old at her vanity table. The daughter of Donald Trump, the President Elect, writes beneath the image “#Selfie on set! Big shoot today!”

On Instagram Richard Prince has written the following rebuffs on his Twitter account:


His response comes from a political standpoint and is in line with the “art strike” which is being planned for the day Trump becomes President on the 20th of January. A day of doing nothing art related has been back by notable figures including Richard Serra and Cindy Sherman. But many are describing it as a pointless protest, with Jonathan Jones from the Guardian deriding the action as a way for artists to “feel good about themselves.” Such figures risk nothing by having a day off.

Prince is allowed to withdraw authority for owning his work through the Visual Artists' Rights Act, which destroys any value attached to the work. The acclaimed but controversial American artist has always courted controversy with his brazen appropriation of the intellectual property of others. Exposing the vapidness of our modern celebrity driven lives, while maintaining a sophisticated critique of American consumer culture.

Ivanka Trump is a well known figure in the art world and is an avid collector of Christopher Wool. Her Instagram followers, numbering more than 2 million, are well used to seeing pictures of her posing in front of works by major contemporary artists.


By Anne Erhard — FAM Editorial