Your Instagram snap could be sold for $90,000. And you wouldn't even know.

It’s not Instagram… it’s art.

Someone is stealing lifting Instagram images and selling them for $US90,000.

Selena Mooney found this out the hard way.

Earlier this month she discovered “artist” Richard Prince had screenshot and printed out a bunch of photos from her Instagram account, and was selling them at a hip LA gallery for $90,000 (more than $AUD117,400) a pop, and pocketing all the profits.

Mooney is the founder of Suicide Girls, a website that celebrates photography of women who champion a 1950s pin-up/punk rocker look – and many of these images are uploaded to her Instagram profile, which obviously caught the eye of Prince.

An image from Richard Prince’s exhibition. Image: Twitter.

While Prince likes to call himself an artist, the internet is labelling him a thief.

“Theft: not art.” One commenter wrote on Prince’s Instagram.

“YOU SUCK.” Another said, eloquently.

Image: @RichardPrince4 Twitter

Whether Prince’s actions are actually illegal is up for debate.

According to The Independent, Prince has replaced the original captions on the images with his own words – conveniently avoiding some hairy copyright laws.


In a statement issued to Mashable, Instagram steered clear of claiming legal responsibility for the images.

“People in the Instagram community own their photos, period,” the statement said. “On the platform, if someone feels that their copyright has been violated, they can report it to us and we will take appropriate action. Off the platform, content owners can enforce their legal rights.”

Related content: The Instagram post you just liked? The blogger got paid $15,000 for it.

But Mooney isn’t upset at Prince for using her images. She even thanked Prince for his recognition of Suicide Girls as a sub-cultural phenomenon.

“Richard Prince is an artist and he found the images we and our girls publish on Instagram as representative of something worth commenting on, part of the zeitgeist, I guess? Thanks Richard!” Mooney said on Reddit.

Prince’s 37-piece show, entitled “New Portraits”, sold out during it’s stint at Frieze gallery in New York.


Mooney plans to go one better and produce the same prints, but for a cheaper price.

“Do we have Mr. Prince’s permission to sell these prints? We have the same permission from him that he had from us. ;)” Mooney wrote.

“I’m just bummed that his art is out of reach for people like me and the people portrayed in the art he is selling.

“So we at SuicideGirls are going to sell the exact same prints people payed $90,000 for $90 each.”

Related content: Jessica Simpson posted a picture of her daughter on Instagram and everyone is freaking out.

Well, that’s one way to get your own back after someone sneakily takes your snaps and makes money from them.


Do you worry about the safety of your Instagram images? 

View more Suicide Girls images:

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