Did Richard Prince sell a $90,000 artwork to Ivanka Trump? Did he then return the money? Or is the controversial appropriation artist staging a giant social-media prank?
Prince, notorious for creating multimillion-dollar artworks appropriating other people’s Instagram posts, yesterday tweeted an image of an Ivanka Trump Instagram post from August 2014 as if it were a Prince appropriation of same, but disavowing the “work.”
In keeping with his actual Instagram works, which come under a series called “New Portraits” and have been exhibited at Gagosian Gallery, the supposed work features a trademark Prince comment on the original photograph, with richardprince4 saying “Nurse Trump,” followed by a few emoji (a sly reference to his own paintings of nurses).
He goes on to claim, in a subsequent tweet, that he sold Ivanka the work two years ago; he then seems to say that he later returned the money, though his unconventional syntax makes it a little unclear:
We do know that Ivanka Trump is an art collector, judging by her numerous Instagram posts showing her in the home she shares with New York real estate heir Jared Kushner with works by Dan Colen, Alex Israel, Nate Lowman, and Christopher Wool, among other white male artists.
Prince has made his antipathy for Donald Trump known via various Twitter posts and retweets, with one wishing that he would “go away,” another mocking him based on recently emerged salacious rumors, and another comparing him to Nazis—and that’s all just this month.
Prince’s stilted wording, “I denounce,” is, as it happens, not only typical of his own gnomic Twitter pronouncements, but is also reminiscent of Donald Trump’s oddly worded “I disavow” remark to a reporter about the endorsement of the KKK’s David Duke, which similarly lacked an object of the verb:
The artist’s labeling of the supposed Ivanka Instagram work as “fake art,” of course, alludes to the disinformation campaigns that swept the internet during the recent presidential election and have been dubbed “fake news.”
Ironically, Instagrammer Cameron Jankowski appears to have had the last word on the Ivanka post. His comment: “Rich prince.”
Neither the Trump campaign, Ivanka Trump herself, nor Prince’s studio immediately returned artnet News’ requests for comment.
UPDATE: Artist/filmmaker/writer Greg Allen points out an Ivanka Instagram post that seems to indicate that the artwork is real, though her caption suggests it was a gift:
Follow artnet News on Facebook.