Checking through Artnet news recently I found an article titled ‘When is artist-on-artist theft okay?’. This is how bad it has gotten when contemporary critics even have to ask these questions – and most declare such crimes legit! For the record… NEVER should it be OK to steal images from a living artist and copying from dead artists is forgery – or inspiration, depending on the provenance LOL – check out www.nobilified.com for crass commercialism of old masters by exploited painters, most likely cheap Chinese labor. “Welcoming the masses to the 1%” indeed! I think it’s clear that theft is morally bankrupt and image appropriation is creative bankruptcy (or modern art capitalism depending on whether you collect the genre or been ‘nobilified’ haha). Why can’t contemporary artists create their own images and when did it become so acceptable to appropriate? Has visual plagiarism been encouraged by the web and easy, immediate access to images? I think it was Dada or Pop when the practice of appropriation first became acceptable as art, since it’s clear Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism didn’t need other images for affirmation or subject matter. Old masters interpreted life and nature and even Hieronymus Bosch images were based on a ‘personal view of reality’ – this standard formed the basis of western art for centuries. Are global visual arts stuck in a feedback loop like an M.C. Escher drawing? Maybe GIF animations are the future of art after all! Everything in the art world seems derivative today and it can only get worse if artists keep regurgitating other images instead of attempting to develop their own. No, theft is never morally acceptable, except perhaps when you are destitute and starving. It seems that even with its gluttony of contemporary sales, that’s the appropriate analogy for the art world today.