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Finding Inspiration…steal it

Activist Avrem Finklestein talks about co-opting the look of Benetton clothing company ads for the “Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Indifference and Greed Does”  ACT UP action campaign.


AIDS activist artists were notorious for stealing ideas for advertising and elsewhere and then shaping them to fit their needs.  The more outrageous the better.

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. 

Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it.

In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

Jim Jarmusch – Film Director