Adam Lindemann takes on the photographer Patrick Cariou who just won an important judgment against Richard Prince. In the process, he reveals that only 8 of the 28 paintings in the now infamous “Canal Zone” show were sold. One of those works was sold to Lindemann:
I always liked the series, and I’m a contrarian, so, in the pit of the crisis (summer 2009), I had bought a big one, and proudly hung it in my living room where many have shown curiosity and some experience serious disapprobation. Did I know about the lawsuit at that time and was I concerned? Yes, it was a perfect Richard Prince scenario: a work that was made under a potential copyright violation, the subject of a lawsuit, by a self-avowed “appropriation” artist.
Now some have mistakenly interpreted the judge’s decision to read that I need to give it back to the gallery, but possession is 9/10’s of the law, and there is a whole chapter in this story yet to been told.
A few days ago, I spoke to Patrick Carriou. He said that he was never offered any settlement money by Prince or his gallery before, during or after the show. He felt that that the artist had exhibited “arrogance, an overwhelming sense of power, and plain laziness.”
The Frenchman was clever to hold out in court, his damages will be substantial and they will be decided on May 6.
But, I wondered: What of his subject matter, the poor Jamaicans living up in the hills. Did they get a modeling fee? Did they give consent to the publication of their likeness for profit? What, if anything, were they paid, and shouldn’t they be entitled to some share of the suit proceeds? Well, Mr. Carriou agreed, he said “absolutely they are, and if I get anything, they will.”
My Artwork Formerly Known as Prince (Observer)