Klaus Biesenbach and James Franco Spar Over Richard Prince’s Instagram Art

Klaus Biesenbach's Instagram photo of Richard Prince's artwork based on Kate Moss's Instagram photo.
Photo Klaus Biesenbach/Instagram.

The New York City art world’s all atwitter over appropriation artist Richard Prince’s exhibition of Instagram photos printed on large canvases at Gagosian‘s Madison Avenue space. The strange spectacle is so intriguing that MoMA chief curator and MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach—who’s no Instagram slouch, either—paid a visit to the show, and took a moment to review it, on Instagram! Though Biesenbach found the show pleasantly surprising, he also had suspicions regarding the work’s enduring relevance.

“I was ready to not like the exhibition of @richardprince4 but I have to admit I was impressed by it,” Biesenbach wrote. “I wonder about the longevity of their fascinating presence though.”

Predictably, Biesenbach’s best buddy James Franco chimed in with a comment, making a claim for the longevity of Prince’s work.

“As with all things Prince has done, they will fade, become dated, and return back with the same ferocious nostalgia that seems to be almost intentionally observed as some preordained ritual,” Franco wrote.

Another Instagram maven, New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz, sides with Franco.

“Prince’s slices of immaterial digital reality uploaded into physical space and placed in art galleries stretch the membrane thinner between these realms,” Saltz writes in one of his typically ecstatic and fawning reviews. “Here he is delving as deep as he ever has into privacy, copyright, and appropriation, twisting images so that they actually seem to undergo some sort of sick psychic-artistic transubstantiation where they no longer belong to the original makers. Like I said, he’s as out there in his proclivities as Humbert Humbert.”

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