Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The difference between originality and authenticity

"Stolen" Sculpture
Advice from Jim Jarmusch as quoted in MovieMaker Magazine #53:
Nothing is original.

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."

—  Jim Jarmusch, quoted in MovieMaker Magazine #53
The sculpture above captured my imagination in San Miguel de Allende. Here's where it went months later ... with the help of a friend's face, a high-desert tree and a handful of other effects:

Day 9/100


  1. I agree about authenticity, but I would credit the original with the artist's name, and would dispense with the concepts of stealing/thievery/concealment altogether.

  2. I agree on the credit although sometimes it isn't available as in the sculpture I found in SMA. I always look for it though. I think the "stealing" idea is merely a device ... a way of saying it's really not stealing if you authentically make it your own. Shakespeare coined a bucket load of words but we don't credit him whenever we use one.