We Are Amused: QEII New Portrait By Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Her Majesty: New Portrait poster? 2015, offset litho, unsigned, unnumbered, from Gagosian London/Davies St, via Phillips

It had truly been a minute since I contemplated Richard Prince’s New Portraits series at length. But then a couple of weeks ago the judge in the slow-rolling, now-consolidated copyright infringement lawsuits over two of Prince’s works refused a request for summary judgment, and now they’re set to go to trial.

NGL, it is wearying to keep wading into the legal minutiae, especially when it all feels like it’s missing what’s obvious. and. right. there. in. the. works. I guess it is literally just me. On the bright side, though, there’s a new deposition, which I am trying to get my hands on. Unlike the Cariou trial, only a very few pages have been excerpted so far, so no book. Yet. [Here’s a pdf of the filing, though, have fun.]

Anyway, point is, next week Phillips is selling a New Portrait that is new to me; it’s a poster? An edition? A takeaway? [Here it is on the floor, for drama.] Hard to say, frankly, but it is the Queen. And it came from Prince’s New Portraits show in London (at Gagosian’s Davies Street storefront) in 2015. Prince would make smaller proof editions for the Portrait subject, if they asked, and he did make variously sized Portraits later [see below], along with Instagram-related prints.

Installation shot of a gang of cash&carry-size New Portraits at Gagosian LA, 2020, via yt

The Queen Elizabeth portrait is an entire Prince joint, though. Like he did with his Family portfolio, Prince posted QEII’s coronation portrait to his own Instagram account, and started composing. The Brant Foundation must have had notifications turned on, to get their white power emoji in there within the four hours between posting and screenshotting.

It’s all long gone now, of course, like the Queen herself. This 22×15 inch poster, unsigned and unnumbered in an edition some places say is 500, others just don’t know, is the only artifact left to mark this historic Instagram moment.

7-8 June 2023, Lot 259: Richard Prince, Queen Elizabeth II, From New Portraits, est GBP 1,000-1,500 [update: hammered for GBP 1,700, or GBP 2,172 with premium] [phillips]
Fair use defense by Richard Prince fails to sway judge on Instagram prints [courthousenews]
Previously, related: View Source: Richard Prince’s Instagram Portraits
Hmm, also there are several of these:
Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016
Untitled (Screenshot), 2015
Untitled (richardprince4), 2014
And Queen-related:
Regina, RGB
Yas, Regina