Doing a Double Take on image appropriation

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“Copyright has never interested me,” said Richard Prince in 2011, according to a photographer suing him for image appropriation (and as reported in The Guardian). “For most of my life I owned half a stereo, so there was no point in suing me, but that’s changed now and it’s interesting…
“So, sometimes it’s better not to be successful and well-known and you can get away with much more. I knew what I was stealing 30 years ago but it didn’t matter because no one cared, no one was paying any attention.”
They’re paying attention now, and Prince’s work is now included in a group show at London’s Skarstedt gallery – Double Take, which also includes work by Roe Ethridge, Collier Schorr, Anne Collier, Barbara Kruger and Robert Heinecken (among others). Spanning from the 1960s to the present day, the show focuses on art that appropriates images, to show “the power of pictures in shaping ideas of identity, gender, race, desire and sexuality”.
“The great thing about appropriation is that even though the transformation reads as fiction, everybody knows that the source of the appropriation was at some point non-fiction, (magazine, movie, etc.),” states Prince, “and it’s these sources, or elements of non-fiction, that gives the picture, no matter how questionable, its believable edge”.
Double Take is on show from 07 March – 22 April at Skarstedt Gallery, London.  www.skarstedt.com
Double Jess Gold, 2015 © Roe Ethridge, courtesy the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Double Jess Gold, 2015 © Roe Ethridge, courtesy the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Dorothea, 2012 © Collier Schorr, courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London and 303 Gallery, New York
Dorothea, 2012 © Collier Schorr, courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London and 303 Gallery, New York
Are You Rea (detail) 1964 -68 by Robert Heinecken © The Robert Heinecken Trust, courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles
Are You Rea (detail) 1964 -68 by Robert Heinecken © The Robert Heinecken Trust, courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles
Untitled (Now You See Us Now You Don't), 1987 © Barbara Kruger
Untitled (Now You See Us Now You Don’t), 1987 © Barbara Kruger
Woman Crying #2, 2016 © Anne Collier, courtesy the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles; The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow; Galerie Neu, Berlin
Woman Crying #2, 2016 © Anne Collier, courtesy the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles; The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow; Galerie Neu, Berlin
Why Wait Another Day to be Adorable? Tell Your Beautician "Relax Me.", 1968/2007, courtesy the artist and Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels / Belgium
Why Wait Another Day to be Adorable? Tell Your Beautician “Relax Me.”, 1968/2007, courtesy the artist and Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels / Belgium
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy