Well Katie Jean,
This is how I see it: Richard Prince makes a lot of work, and it sells for a lot – BUT, name a body of work he made full-on, that he dedicated a huge 24th Street Gagosian show to (his first there), that got stuck in a market crash (Fall ‘08) and for which he got sued and lost! Only “Canal Zone” fits that bill, and only 8 of 26 paintings got sold in or after the show.
Though Gagosian “holds” 10 more in inventory, and though the remaining 8 are currently designated by the judge to be destroyed, the ruling states that the whole series is “illegal” and can’t be shown or sold at all, anywhere – great stuff for Richard Prince fans!!
Fact is, the photographer Patrick Cariou is holding out for his share of the millions these are worth, and RP doesn’t want to set a bad precedent by settling with him and paying him off, so… this is real art history in the making (for a change!), not just one more picture, one more show, one more dollar kinda stuff…
Of course the judge’s ruling was wrong, and RP’s use of the rasta image changes its meaning, and in my view should be allowed. So, fact is, this decision will probably overturned because it’s plain dumb, but come what may, this stuff is RP history. So YES, they will be highly collectible and interesting to own and discuss: the best RP story in years. It’s really the most controversial work he’s made since “Spiritual America” (which also ended up in a lawsuit). This stuff is “appropriation-art” history!!! Go test my theory on amazon.com, you can’t even buy a Canal Zone catalog anymore without paying hundreds of dollars….