Beg, Steal and Borrow: Artists take a stand against originality

"Art is theft," Picasso once proclaimed, and it's often said that much of the best and most ‘original’ new art involves an act or two of unequivocal, overt theft.

This snazzy new book, Beg, Steal and Borrow, by Elephant Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Robert Shore, offers a comprehensive and provocative survey of the complex subjects of art, theft and copyright, written in an easy to read, journalistic style.

Interestingly, it traces an artistic lineage of appropriation, from Michelangelo to Jeff Koons, and examines the history of its legality from the Sixteenth Century to now. In addition to the fascinating content, the book design is by Pentagram’s Angus Hyland and very much mirrors the ongoing theme of appropriation.

Robert Shore is the editor of the visual-arts quarterly Elephant and was previously deputy editor of Art Review magazine. As an arts journalist, he has contributed to the Sunday Times, the Guardian and Metro. He is also the author of 10 Principles of Advertising and Bang in the Middle.

Discover more at


Get the best of Creative Boom delivered to your inbox weekly