On September 19, Richard Prince's "New Portraits" exhibition opened at Gagosian Gallery. The exhibition features Prince's "rephotographs" of Instagram selfies from famous and Internet-famous people. Prince commented on the photos and printed them to create new works that critic Jerry Saltz calls "truly brilliant" and examples of "genius trolling."
Those familiar with Prince's work have reviewed the exhibition positively, saying that his portraits "number among the new art burning through the last layers that separate the digital and physical realms," and that he "makes calculated choices that are, at a base level—appealing."
Those who are not critics have responded to the show in exactly the way one would expect: by taking selfies with the Instagram portraits and posting them to Instagram.
#Artselfies have become a normal course of action at art shows and exhibitions, even when they are wildly inappropriate, but these selfies could not be more appropriate. In his review, Matthew Israel shared a series of questions that he was left with after viewing the exhibition, including, "Is this a mirror of our present moment—in which social is our primary online activity and Instagram the #2 social service?" and "Maybe this is us facing up to our incessant narcissism and our curiosity for others' narcissistic images?"
The short answer to both will have to be #yes. "New Portraits" will be on view at Gagosian Gallery through October 25.