Piotr Uklanski's - "The Nazis" - consists of 164 photographic images of movie actors in German military regalia

Piotr Uklanski - The Nazis - consists of 164 photographic images of movie actors in German military regalia

Good artists borrow, great artists steal. ~Pablo Picasso

Coinciding with Art Basel Miami 2009, the Rubell Family Collection opened their latest exhibition, entitled Beg, Borrow, and Steal.  The exhibition, filling the entire 45,000 sq. ft. museum, consists of 260 works by 74 artists of different generations and examines the role of appropriation throughout modern and contemporary art.  It was born through a series of conversations the Rubells had with artists Kelly Walker and Wade Guyton.  It deals with artistic influence, artists building upon the legacies of predecessors, and the use of “stolen imagery” in artistic production to present new ideas.

More after the jump…


From Richard Prince regularly being sued for appropriation of images to Shepard Fairey’s (featured) battle with the Associated Press regarding fair use of their Barack Obama photograph in his Hope piece, the use of borrowed imagery is a debate that is complex and long-lasting.  This exhibition should do much in cultivating debate regarding appropriation while showing how the use of appropriation has shaped new ideas, formed new movements, and changed our way of thinking of authorship and true ownership.

Artists from different generations are represented in this show, from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons to Takashi Marakami to Nate Lowman.  The Rubells have collected for 45 years and their genuine love, passion, ambitiousness, and enthusiasm for art can be seen throughout the exhibit.  Beg Borrow and Steal is on view until May 29, 2010 at:

Discuss Art Basel here.