Agent of SHIELDs

The marvelous David Shields appeared on the Colbert Report last night. David is great playing the straight man to Colbert’s out of control faux Fox Network pundit. Lots of fun!

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David Shields
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All Art is Theft. Let’s face it – “appropriation” is a hip catchword for an old process. And as we all know the best art continues a dialog with the past while infusing it with the reality of the present. The strong artist finds a way to overcome the past in just this way. However, with so much “appropriation” everywhere we look in our artworld, it would be great to see more of it infused with the reality of our existence and this is where “reality” comes in – a tool is only as good as the artist who wields it. To be clearer about this issue I think we should define what “Theft” might mean, or what it means for an artist to “Steal.” I’ll leave that for another post.

Embedded in Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is the French national anthem. Aaron Copeland based a significant part of “Appalachian Spring” on the Shaker melody “Simple Gifts.” Manet’s “Olympia” is an overt reworking of Titian’s “Venus of Urbino.” Genius borrows nobly. Art is theft. Good poets borrow; great poets steal. James Joyce said, “I am quite content to go down to posterity as a scissors-and-paste man.” Who owns the words? We all do, though not all of us know it yet. Art is not a patent office. It’s a conversation between and among artists. Reality can’t be copyrighted, especially in the digitized universe we now occupy.”

One thought on “Agent of SHIELDs

  1. Mhm, yes, I still read the book, almost to the half, not too much exited yet, btw today was this interesting recollection to Cubism, I feel myself drawn to for a while, by

    The joy of cubism by Jonathan Jones

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