Controversial artist Richard Prince is back in court for an ongoing copyright case over two photographs used in his 2014 “New Portraits” series that were taken by artists Donald Graham and Eric McNatt. Prince — who took the images from Instagram and printed them largely unaltered with a comment he added — is arguing that his iPhone is a “paintbrush.”
The artist further claimed in court papers this month, according to the Art Newspaper, that he wanted “to re-imagine traditional portraiture and bring to a canvas and art gallery a physical representation of the virtual world of social media.”
Prince reportedly previously failed to have the case dismissed by a US District Court judge by arguing that Graham’s and McNatt’s images fell under fair-use laws. (Graham’s original image was called “Rastafarian Smoking a Joint,” while McNatt’s was of Sonic Youth rocker Kim Gordon.)
But Prince is also being backed in the case by a number of art-world bigs, including the director of New York’s New Museum.