Jim Jarmusch
[Film director, b. 1953, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, lives in New York.]

 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 non-existent. 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.” 

Richard Prince
[Artist, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, lives in New York.]

 What I find is that the taking, the stealing, the appropriation of images has to do with prior availability, and it sets up a degree where things can be shared... It’s like 50% off... You can let something of another emotion or another personality sign on your work, or co-sign it. 

Steve McCurry
[Photographer, b. 1950, Newton Square, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 We photographers say that we “take” a picture, and in a certain sense, that is true. We take something from people’s lives, but in doing so we tell their story. 

Lewis Hine
[Photographer, writer, and reformer, b. 1874, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, d. 1940, New York.]

 In the early days of my child labor activities I was an investigator with a camera attachment... but the emphasis became reversed until the camera stole the whole show. 

Richard Prince
[Artist, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, lives in New York.]

 ... maybe re-photographing a picture is like fucking a picture. There is something sexual about standing behind a camera and staring at another picture. It’s hard to explain. It’s like you’ve captured it. Even before you’ve taken it. Before you press the shutter. 
 It would be strange for me to think I’m being ripped off, because that’s what I do! In those days, it was called “pirating.” Now they call it “sampling.” 

Jean Paul Sartre
[Writer and philosopher, b. 1905, Paris, d. 1980, Paris.]

 Why, you’ve even stolen my face; you know it and I don’t! 

Penelope Umbrico
[Photographer, b. 1957, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 …since I’m finding something going on there that is not the original intent of the images, I feel I have absolutely every right to use them. 
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