The Appropriateness of Appropriation!

The Appropriateness of Appropriation!

Hold on to your hats! I am about to make a case for stealing. There is actually an art term for it. It is appropriately called – Appropriation. In fact, Richard Pettibone is thought to be a pioneer of ‘Appropriation Art.’ Pettibone replicated the work of famous artists in miniature version. Here is Andy Warhol’s Green Stamps by Richard Pettibone

While I don’t quite understand Pettibone’s approach, his work’s popularity paved the way for a genre. 

William Ralph Inge, a Priest and Author who was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, said, “What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.” He might have been thinking about Pettibone when he said that, but they lived at different times, and I think Inge was pointing to the idea that we learn through the works we study, admire and emulate. When we put that into practice, we inevitably put our own stamp on things.

Conan O’Brien spoke to this idea when he talked about how comedians try to emulate their heroes. He said, “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”

Pablo Picasso said, “Art is theft.”

David Bowie said, “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from”.

Austin Kleon wrote a book called “Steal Like an Artist,” which I highly recommend reading, regardless if ‘Art’ is your field.

Have I made the case made for stealing? Now go out and copy someone!

Today, my badly executed image pays homage to the scribblings of my favorite Canadian blogger, Snubsta in whom the essence of Wabi-Sabi lives.


365 Days is my personal practise of putting out words and images each day.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Simon

    Quite appropriate appropriation. Thank you! Snubsta

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