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Richard Prince Faces Fourth Lawsuit Over Copyright Infringement

Appropriation artist Richard Prince is being sued for copyright infringement for the fourth time, Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper reports.

California-based makeup artist and model Ashley Salazar filed a complaint in the US District Court of the Central District of California on June 15, after she discovered that Prince had used an image of her that she had posted on her Instagram account, @mynxiiwhite, in his “New Portraits” series. The works, which were first exhibited at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue location in 2014, feature Instagram photos of a range of women, including celebrities such as Kate Moss as well as images of female college students. Prince enlarges the images and adds his own mix of emojis and comments in the text below.

The image of Salazar, which depicted the model taking a selfie in a mirror with cat memes adorning the right edge of the frame, was sold at Frieze New York last year. According to The Guardian, Gagosian was selling the “New Portraits” series works for up to $100,000.

Salazar’s lawsuit states that Prince “wrongfully created copies” of her photo and “engaged in acts of affirmative and widespread self-promotion of the copies directed at the public at large.” Salazar claims that the image was registered for copyright, and her lawyer is currently working to transfer the case from California to a New York federal court.

Prince is also currently fighting two other lawsuits that were filed against him and Gagosian Gallery, which represented him at the time. He was accused of copyright infringement by photographer Dennis Morris, due to Prince’s appropriation of Morris’s photographs of Sex Pistols’s bass player Sid Vicious, and by photographer Donald Graham, whose work Prince also used in his “New Portraits” series.