The SuicideGirls Strike Back Against Richard Prince

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Artist Richard Prince is about to find out that the SuicideGirls are not to be trifled with.

Earlier this week Prince—an artist whose name is almost always preceded by the word "controversial" in the press—made waves throughout the art world after some of his latest work was displayed as part of Frieze Art Fair in New York City. The exhibition, entitled "New Portraits," consisted of blown up Instagram posts the Prince sold for the exorbitant sum of $90,000 each. The pictures remained unaltered and included the usernames of the accounts they were taken from. The only notable changes added by Prince were in the comments underneath each photo, Prince appears to have added a comment by a "RichardPrince1234" to each one.

Many of the photos that were taken for the exhibit were originally posted by SuicideGirls and it turns out that founder Missy Suicide wasn't too pleased about it. While it remains to be seen if there is any legal action that can be taken against Prince (in the past his art has been judged by the US courts to be "transformative," and thus Prince is not committing copyright infringement) the process of finally coming to trial would take months if not years. By that time everyone will have forgotten about the show in the first place. SuicideGirls have created a response that will not only make a statement against what Prince has done but will also raise money for charity—they are selling prints on their website with the money going to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Missy alludes to the difficulty of enforcing copyright laws in cases like this in a statement on the site. It honestly seems like she is just disappointed that an artist would blatantly use the images in this manner more than anything. In a very tongue in cheek way Missy considers the act a bit of a compliment.

"Richard Prince is an artist and he found the images we and our girls publish on Instagram as representative of something worth commenting on, part of the zeitgeist, I guess?" Missy said in the statement. "Thanks Richard! I’m just bummed that his art is out of reach for people like me and the people portrayed in the art he is selling.

"So we at SuicideGirls are going to sell the exact same prints people payed $90,000 for $90 each," Missy continues. "I hope you love them. Beautiful Art, 99.9% off the original price. ;)"

Urban art publisher Eyes on Walls is donating the printing and the canvases so all of the money brought in will be going to the EFF. If you have never heard of them EFF is a nonprofit that is intent upon ensuring that "rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows." You can head over to SuicideGirls to pick up one of the prints by clicking here. You can take a look at all five images below. Here's a hint, pay special attention to the comments.