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Gary Gross (1937 - 2010)

Lot 217: Gary Gross: Brooke Shields, 1975/1985, 13 chromogenic prints

The Photo Review

October 22, 2011
Philadelphia, PA, US

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Gary Gross: Brooke Shields, 1975/1985, 13 chromogenic prints, 10"x8" each


10"x8" each

Artist or Maker

Gary Gross


13 chromogenic prints


Brooke Shields's mother had Gary Gross photograph her daughter, then a model with the Ford agency and signed a contract giving Gross full rights to exploit the images of her daughter. The images were published and exhibited around the time when Brooke Shields was promoting the film Pretty Baby directed by Louis Malle. Shields later sued Gross to prevent further use of these pictures. After lengthy legal maneuvers stretching over many years, an appeals court confirmed that Shields could not invoke her right to annul the contract and that she was legally bound by her mother's signature. The court eventually ruled that "these photographs are not sexually suggestive, provocative or pornographic, nor do they imply sexual promiscuity. They are pictures of a prepubescent girl posing innocently in her bath." The court rejected all Brooke Shields' claims and decided in Gross's favor. In the ealy 1990s Richard Prince appropriated one of these images for part of his work, Spiritual America.

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The Photo Review
October 22, 2011, 4:15 PM EST

Philadelphia, PA, US

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